Enjoy nature at our Tuscan farmhouse on the edge of mountain wilderness, Italy

  • Italy
  • Favourited 596 times
  • Last activity: 05/02/2023



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️Please check our calendar before contacting us, thank you! *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️

    FROM 8 TO 22 MARCH 2023, we'll be looking for a team of about 4 volunteers to help us with the early spring work. The tasks will include pruning fruit trees, harvesting chestnut and acacia for next winter's firewood, planting seeds for our vegetable garden, clearing the pilgrimage trail for the new season, and perhaps refinishing old wooden doors and shutters.

    Volunteers will sleep in our house or in one of the nearby buildings and we will cook and eat meals together as a family. We kindly ask that you be up-to-date on your COVID vaccinations and travel/health insurance and that you ONLY contact us if you are interested in joining the work crew from 8/03 to 22/03.

    Murotto is a peaceful hamlet of 3 farmhouses in a forest above the small mountain village of Baggio, in northern Tuscany, 10km from Pistoia - a beautiful medieval city between Florence and Lucca. Murotto was abandoned after WWII and the houses, fields and orchards have been gradually restored by our family since the 1960s. We are off-road (except by 4wd) so there is a 10-min walk up a stone mule path.

    We live in a simple stone farmhouse and offer clean sleeping accommodation, wood-burning heating, hot water, wifi, linens/towels, laundry, healthy & delicious meals (vegan, gluten-free, veggie, meat-eaters all welcome!). English, Italian, Spanish, French and German spoken.

    We are Jethro and Olivia (early 60s). Jethro is a social scientist, activist and former university teacher now working freelance, and Olivia is a writer and former teacher. We are American, lived in the UK for many years, and have been coming to Murotto for 50+ years. We now live here year-round and offer a guest house for retreats, holidays and volunteers, sometimes joined by our 3 children (in their 30s), their partners, cousins, two grandchildren and two great-grandmothers.

    We're creating an organic permaculture homestead, and restoring the buildings and landscape for a sustainable future. We have chickens, bees, orchards, gardens and a friendly dog. Come help us manage our chestnut woods, fruit trees, organic veg garden, fields, fences, walking trails, forest roads, farmhouses and outbuildings, all in a creative and fun way, with lots of inspiring things to work on!

    Come by car, bike, or train+local bus, or we'll meet you at Pistoia station.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Baggio is a traditional Tuscan mountain village (pop 100) with an active community association that runs a bar and pizza restaurant on Saturday evenings (except in winter), and a small museum dedicated to the villages's charcoal-making days. The village dates from 900 AD if not earlier, and our farm is on an ancient stone-paved pilgrimage route from Roman times. Local families tend their olive orchards, gardens and chickens, manage their chestnut woods for fuel and timber, collect mushrooms and hunt wild boar, in addition to their day jobs in nearby Pistoia. Volunteers can meet local families if they wish, and take part in community activities or go for walks through the farmland, olives and chestnut woods. We are the last inhabited house on this part of the mountain, and behind us is a vast forest wilderness with trails and forest roads leading up into the high Apennines, with well-marked hiking trails and endless wildlife... boar, deer, wolves, porcupines, badgers, foxes, birds of prey, insects and reptiles. Pistoia (12km away) is a charming, well-preserved medieval Tuscan city with historic churches, museums, bars, restaurants, shops and vibrant open markets. On days off volunteers often go by bus/train to visit Pistoia, Lucca or Florence.

  • Help


    We usually work about 25 hours a week (4-5 hrs per day from early morning to lunchtime)

    We prefer volunteers who can be here for 2 weeks, for intensive projects with a small group. See above for current hosting dates and projects, and contact us ONLY if specific dates are listed that match your travel plans. Please only contact us if you are seriously committed!

    Longer-term volunteers may be considered if there is a good match of skills and seasonal work needed. Help us grow fruit and vegetables, mend fences and gates, make stone walls, clear brush, cut grass, cut and split firewood, share cooking and housework, and enjoy great food and wine!

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    Private or shared bedroom, shared bath, linens and towels, warm and cozy house, shared living spaces with open fires and wood burning stoves, solar energy, wifi, laundry, delicious meals (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, meat eaters all welcome), good company and conversation. No TV or landline.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We expect volunteers to help out in the kitchen (cooking or washing up) in addition to volunteer time. You are free to relax around here or explore the area in your time off. Murotto is on the edge of a mountain wilderness perfect for adventurous walks or a dip in the secluded waterfall 20 mins away, or explore the village of Baggio and get to know our neighbours. The local bar is open on summer evenings where villagers congregate on a large terrace with a panoramic view. Just down the valley by bus is the beautiful medieval city of Pistoia (named as Italy's Capital of Culture for 2017), with spectacular churches, architecture, museums, markets, festivals and a trendy cafe and restaurant scene (frequented mainly by Italians escaping from the big tourist cities in Tuscany!) There are frequent train connections to Florence, Lucca and Pisa. Non-smokers only and no drugs please. Please contact us only if you are available for the dates mentioned in our profile.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Our dog is very sociable and friendly so other sociable and friendly pets are welcome; however, as we live near lots of wildlife and have chickens, pets need to be kept under control at all times.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours/day, 25 hours/week

Host ref number: 371526742839

Feedback (26)


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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

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