Aspiring off-grid living focusing on traditional/eco-builiding and permaculture in the alpine woods of Piedmont Region- Italy



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    We’re Andrea, Sofia, we live in Valchiusella, a tiny valley located in the Alps from Piedmont region, between “Val d’Aosta” and the Gran Paradiso National Park .
    After spending many years between Berlin and traveling around the world, tired from the misleading city life style, we decided to get a land in the middle of the wood with two old traditional houses (from more then a century!) to be restored on the banks of a river called Chiusella, aspiring to a self sufficient way of living. We live out of a small village called Traversella which is around 800m m.s.l. . For the next years, beyond developing our garden of rare vegetables varieties and build through different ways of farming, the project will focus on the renovation of the huts. The goal is to employ traditional and eco-friendly (bio-constructions) technics and materials and trying to conduct the works autonomously or with the help of a craftsman to collaborate with.
    We have one and a half hectares of land composed by half hectare of flat field and the remaining it’s a deciduous forest adjacent to a river full of natural pools. The house is reachable in a few minutes walking through an old stone path from the 16th century, it’s supplied by self-produced solar energy, free water sources, a temporary compost toilet, cold or solar shower (limited hot water).

    It’s possible to join us from April to November because during the winter we carry out a similar project in Colombia.

    Apart from eco building and agriculture, we have diverse interests which we kind of let go recently because of lack of time, but we are still happy to share knowledge and experience about them; Sofia's main interest is photography (she used to work as a reporter for different parties and events in Berlin); Andrea is a hobby blacksmith, while we share deep interest in plants and natural medicine, in both a botanical and spiritual sense. For instance, we developed this common interest towards a project.

    From our life in South America we learned to deeply appreciated anything related to indigenous and ancestral cultures and traditional medicine. As a middle term project, we plan to organize in our place an event about plants and plant intelligence, hosting workshops, lectures and art projects, all related to the plant kingdom, so we're looking for possible guests and inputs in that direction as well.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will make a real experience about how to live in the mountain through a self sufficient way of living and in a close contact with nature. We will be happy to share our modest knowledge about permaculture, bio constructions, seed saving, edible and healing wild herbs.

  • Help


    For the moment help will be requested mainly for the renovation of the house except for some periods in which we will concentrate only on agricultural work (like spring) . We are looking preferably for people with skills in carpentry, eco-building, plasters, wood construction (floor and finishes) or even people with no experience but interested to learn about it, willing, energetic and without problems doing physical works on a construction site.
    We would like to specify that even agriculture works are physical, it's not just about planting and give water to plants, so if you have any problem with it maybe this is not the place for you.
    A minimum of adaptability and practicability is required, considering a daily relation with wild nature and a lack of comfort normally expected.
    In addition to the required hours of work, help is appreciated in domestic work: cleaning, washing dishes, help in the kitchen.


    -WOOD MANAGEMENT: cleaning, fire wood.
    -GARDEN: preparation of the soil and raised beds, sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting, making preserves for the winter.
    HOUSE RESTORATION: walls, plasters, floors, roof renovation; building construction with wood and stones; improvement of the solar power system and services.

    SUMMER 2021


    -Construction of bathroom: hydraulic system, wood floor.

    -continuation of work in the future kitchen/living room: floor insulation, wood and stone floor, hydraulic system.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We usually host our volunteers in a hut nearby our home (a old barn on restoration), it's not yet well isolated so during the coldest month (spring-autumn) we build the tents inside (with a good sleeping bag you will haven not any problem) . . We can provide two tents for two people each, some camping mattresses and pillows; you should bring your sleeping bag and in case you feel cold we have some extra blankets. We have a basic compost toilet and a solar shower, so hot water is limited, during summertime the best is to bath in the river just next to our house . We have not a washing machine, when we need it we go to the city of Ivrea and use the Laundromat or we hand wash . WE USE JUST NATURAL/ECO SOAPS AND DETERGENTS. (Please don’t bring chemical ones) . We have just wood-heating (wood stoves).
    Our meals are mostly vegetarian.

    For any doubt don't hesitate to write us.

  • What else ...

    What else ...


    -sleeping bag
    -good hiking/working water proof boots
    - warm clothes
    -working clothes
    -head lamp
    -water proof/wind proof jacket

    During spring and autumn is common that it often rains , if you will visit us during these seasons is indispensable that you bring RAIN BOOTS and RAIN JACKET.

    You will have two free days a week that you can spend at the river, hiking, rock climbing or simply chilling at home. If you prefer you can also easily reach the city of Ivrea and from there, in around one hour of train, go to Turin or Milan.
    The closest village is 15-20 minutes walking and it has a supermarket, two bars and a post office.

    HOW TO GET OUR PLACE: you can reach Ivrea by train and then take a cheap bus to Traversella, our village. It starts directly at the train station in Ivrea and can leave you at the bus stop where we can pick you up.(we’ll send you the timetable if you need it) For more information please contact us in advance and please try not to arrive on a Sunday because there are not buses.

    Sometimes we go to Ivrea so we can directly pick you up at the train station.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Parking place at 5 minutes from our home.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We accept all pets who have no problems with other animals (wild too). We have cats.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25hours a week max

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Host ref number: 499861847421