We have a large plot of land in rural southern Italy and welcome volunteers to help with the gardening and ongoing projects we have. We also sometimes have a need for house sitters.
We are a friendly, married, young at heart couple who have built our own luxury Masseria for our retirement. We are by no means in the slippers brigade and are a lively couple who don't take life too seriously. We chose this part of the world because of our love of real Italian culture, food and wine. We love our food and grow much of our own produce from which Rick (the chef of the two of us), creates wonderful meals. You can check out his cooking style and recipes on Instagram.
We have two cats and 1 small rescue dog so you should be avid animal lovers as they are a definite part of our family.
We are situated in a beautiful location, with the house sitting on its own 9 acre hill with the most amazing 360 degree views across rolling countryside. The nearest city is Matera, which is famous for being the film location for Mel Gibsons Passion of the Christ; Mary’ Magdeleine; Superwoman and now the new James Bond movie. Matera became a Unesco World Heritage site in 1993 and is a 15 minute drive away. The old town known as the Sassi is where people have dwelled in caves for 9000 years. It's an amazing place particularly if you enjoy cultural experiences, history and architecture. There are jaw dropping landscapes if you enjoy painting or photography. Matera is European Capital of Culture 2019 and is often used a film location.
We enjoy hosting volunteers. We see it as a win/win on both sides. You help us with our projects which would take too long to complete; working together to keep on top of the maintenance of the plot. We welcome you as part of the family - where you will work hard but also have fun and laughter. Your afternoons and evenings will be your free time to do as you wish. You will be well fed on your work days and on your days off we will happily take you into town so you can go exploring. Our cooking style is modern, using traditional home grown ingredients. We prepare healthy meals. Vegetarians are welcome but we are sorry we cannot cannot cater for vegans as Richard does cook with dairy produce. We prefer hosting COUPLES over the age of 25 but will consider single volunteers if your skills match the tasks we are undertaking. We are both non smokers and do not welcome smokers - sorry!
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
You'll learn how we have moved from the rat race in the UK to an almost self sufficient life in the depths of Italy in a modern property built in the traditional way. We try to be as Eco friendly as possible ..... Collecting and harvesting our own rain water; using solar energy for hot water and growing most of our own vegetables. We'll teach you as much as you wish to learn and ask that volunteers embrace our eco friendly resources.
You'll have the opportunity to visit and explore the second oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world, where people have lived in caves for over 9000 years (and still do!). A rare opportunity not to be missed.
Having both been professional employers and recruiters we are happy to discuss and give careers advice and guidance if you wish.
We have several acres of land and we need help with the upkeep of the grounds, gardens, veggie plots and new landscaping around the property. Volunteers should enjoy general gardening - particularly weeding and pruning. The vegetable plot and fruit orchard requires continuous attention. In Autumn we pick the olives and generally plant new trees and shrubs.
We have some eco-projects underway and there is always painting and oiling of outside furniture; pergolas and barns which has to be done every year. The tasks we do depends on the time of year and the weather. The list is endless and ever evolving!
We generally host volunteers for one or two weeks at a time, although we do sometimes offer longer stays if we are in a busy period. Please do check with us what dates are available as we fill up very quickly and can only host one couple at a time.
HOW TO GET OUR ATTENTION: We get a LOT of requests so thought we would share our side... We like just a few lines about why you would like to share our life having read our profile, what skills you have, what you'd like to learn. Writing about these things in your covering note shows you've read our profile to here! And please have a photo of just you/both of you, not a group of people at a party.....). We do not generally host single travellers but do make exceptions occasionally if the skills you have match the things we need to do.
You will be living in a private, self contained studio with its own outside seating area. This area is totally private so that in your free time you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. The views and sunsets from here are stunning. If you are interested in painting, photography or wild life the landscapes are breath taking and provide perfect back drops for your creativity.
On non work days we are happy to drop you off in Matera so you may explore and discover this beautiful city. Lots of churches, museums and guided tours if you are interested. Please note - the local town is not accessible on public transport and is too far to walk. You are of course free to go exploring on your days off. On free days you are responsible for your own food.
For arrival arrangements - the closest airport is BARI. The closest bus or train terminal is MATERA. We will gladly pick you up from either the bus or train station in Matera.
We offer private accommodation; breakfast; snacks and a main meal on workdays. This will be served at lunchtime, after work, in keeping with the local way of life. In exchange we require approx 25-30 hours help per week. We are flexible with the hours but usually work 8am to 1pm so as to avoid the afternoon heat. The afternoons and evenings are your free time to explore the local area or simply to relax. On your last day we ask you to thoroughly clean your room.
Ideal applicants would be 25-60 age bracket (active and fit) with a friendly, mature outlook on life who are seeking to find out and discover this fascinating part of southern Italy.
This is not suitable for someone looking for a hectic night life! We are in an isolated location (yet only a 15 min drive into the city). It will appeal to anyone who likes gardening, landscaping, painting; art; architecture; meditation.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours per day, 5 days a week
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