Volunteer in Italy: view a full list of programs - Worldpackers (2022)

How to volunteer in Italy

A treasure trove of cultural riches, Italy is renowned for its picturesque Roman architecture, glittering Renaissance art, heavenly Mediterranean islands, and all the best authentic pasta you could ever eat.

Float along the canals in a Venetian gondola, gaze up at Michelangelo's iconic Sistine Chapel frescoes, or walk through Pompeii in the footsteps of ancient Roman civilizations. There's a dizzying array of cultural goodness to absorb in Italy, but that's what makes it one of the most popular destinations in all of Europe to explore.

Around every corner, you'll notice that art and history have permeated Italian culture effortlessly. The country takes great pride in its roots and believes in taking time to appreciate and indulge in the finer things in life.

No other place in the world is home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so your itinerary will always be filled with interesting things to do and see. Italy is a culture buff's paradise, so be sure to practice slow travel to fully immerse yourself in its wonders.

Volunteering in Italy is one of the best ways to connect with the country in a one-of-a-kind way.

Tourists that visit Italy want a taste of everything, but volunteers like you are in search of a more meaningful way to impact the nation rather than simply checking off your bucket list. You'll get the chance to learn about the history and vita all'Italiana (Italian life) from your host and contribute to communities in need, all while receiving free accommodation and meals for your efforts.

The best part is that on your evenings and weekends off, you can wander the city, see the sights, and discover Italy from the perspective of a local.

There are tons of volunteer opportunities in Italy that suit a wide range of skills. Hostels and guest houses always need help with social media marketing and reception, while self-sustaining farms and eco villages need more hands-on help with gardening and animal care.

Spend your morning waking up cows in Bucine at this NGO, or learn to cook like a true Italian at this bed and breakfast in Asti. You could contribute to permaculture projects as you help build a community that relies on sustainable energy.

(Video) Volunteering Abroad in Italy | Worldpackers Review | Must Watch

Choose any work exchange program in Italy and you're sure to form a close-knit bond with the host and your fellow volunteers during your stay.

Connect with nature in Italy

The breathtaking landscape of the Italian peninsula is a real masterpiece that is full of natural diversity.

A true land of fire and ice, you'll find perfect skiing conditions in the northern Alps in the wintertime, while in the south the active volcanoes scattered throughout the south bubble with fiery heat. In the summers you can scuba dive into clear turquoise waters to explore underwater caverns on the Amalfi Coast or see the mighty shipwrecks of Sicily.

The seasons in Italy are roughly the same as they are in the United States, so if you want to avoid crowds of tourists, come to Italy during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.

The hustle and bustle of big cities like Florence and Venice that are packed with busy galleries and museums can be downright exhausting. If you're looking for an outdoorsy getaway, you can volunteer in peaceful areas like Tuscany and Palermo to rest and relax.

You can find volunteer opportunities in Italy that will help you connect with nature as you travel. Choose to join an eco program in Magione as you harvest olive oil, and you can even take some with you when you're finished working there! Volunteer at this holistic center in Serravalle Scrivia, a free shelter that gives refuge to single parents and the homeless, as you help organize retreats and practice meditation.

If you are determined to sleep under the stars, there are work exchange experiences in Italy where you can do so. Camp out near the Adriatic Sea in Otranto where you can work for just four hours a day as a gardener and handyman, and the rest of your day can be spent enjoying the beaches nearby. Work in a hostel near the mountains so you can breathe in the fresh mountain air and go on hikes in your free time.

(Video) volunteer abroad |TEACHING ENGLISH IN ITALY | Worldpackers

Your hosts will offer different perks in exchange for your work, such as free hiking tours, language lessons, and even discounts at local restaurants. They'll give you tips on what the best local restaurants are and show you awesome hidden gems to experience in the area.

The best way to learn and grow on your travels is by stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things.

Working on an organic farm is one of the best ways to work directly with Mother Nature as you harvest your own food, maintain vineyards and gardens, and take care of the animals.

This farm in Ali is located in the scenic Sicilian hills overlooking the sea, which is a picture-perfect experience for any nature-lover. If you're an artist with an itch to create, volunteer at this eco farm in Arezzo that lets you plant crops as well as do fun crafts that spruce up the place.

Working on a farm not only teaches new skills to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle, it is a rewarding way to help the community thrive.

How to teach English in Italy

Wherever your world travels take you, one thing is universally known:

"The people you meet create the paradise you find." — Robin Esrock

(Video) Travel for FREE! My volunteering experience with Worldpackers

While working in a hostel is one of the easiest ways to meet people from all over the world, teaching English provides a direct line of communication to you and your host family.

There are a variety of different English teaching opportunities in Italy, which might have you teaching small children, guests in a home stay, or even the staff of a hostel.

Some families who need help will give you free room and board in a private room with three meals a day in exchange for your help. It's the perfect way to get to know an Italian family on a personal level who would be more than happy to help you see their beautiful country through the eyes of a local.

Share your travel experience with your host family and get to know the history of the area you're staying in. Naturally, you'll need to learn some Italian while you're there in order to understand one another.

Most English teaching opportunities in Italy will offer free language lessons to help you speak Italian! You can stay in Milano, Jesi, Genova, or Padova with families who are ready and excited to learn English from you.

Some positions require you to do some light housework or care for children, so be sure your skills are aligned with the position before you start.

The best places to stay in Italy

When it comes to volunteering in Italy in exchange for free accommodation and meals, the sky's the limit.

Wherever you stay, you're bound to be near life-changing and unforgettable travel experiences that leave you with lasting memories.


You can choose to stay in the big three cultural giants — Rome, Florence, or Venice — where you can find jobs in several different lines of work, such as:

  • become a community web developer in Rome
  • work at reception at a Florence guest house
  • help out at a guest house near the sea in Riposto
  • organize a city-wide festival in Enna
  • live on the Ionic Sea working as a handyman in Taormina

These eclectic cities are perfect for museum-hopping while being surrounded by classical music and contemporary art.

Volunteer in Venice and you'll be enamored by the charming canals and stand in awe of the many ornate churches throughout the area.

See the famous Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa as a volunteer in Rome. This city is jam-packed with stunning architecture that has stood the test of time for almost 3,000 years, so be sure to take it slow!

Volunteer in the down-to-earth city of Tuscany to grab a hot bowl of ribollita soup and watch the sun set. It's full of hilltop towns that have plenty of work exchanges at large villas and guest houses where you can work at reception, do some painting and decorating, or become a kitchen hand. You can't beat working a few hours a day in exchange for a life in the rustic countryside.

Whether you decide to volunteer in Italy on a laid-back farm or in the alluring city, Italy has something for every traveler.

If you are considering staying long-term to volunteer around the country, US citizens can enter Italy without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.


Is Worldpackers legitimate? ›

Is Worldpackers legitimate? Worldpackers is a legitimate online platform that helps travelers find volunteering opportunities around the world. The platform sports an experienced online community and different programs in eco projects, organic farms, hostels, schools, and animal sanctuaries.

How do I find international volunteer opportunities? ›

9 Resources to Find Paid Volunteer Work Abroad
  1. [Get matched with paid volunteer jobs abroad for FREE]
  2. Peace Corps.
  3. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
  4. Become a GVI Trust Scholar.
  5. SVP (Sudan Volunteer Programme)
  6. United Nations Volunteer.
  7. HelpX.
  8. American Village Camps in France.
13 Feb 2019

Do I need a visa to volunteer in Italy? ›

If you are considering staying long-term to volunteer around the country, US citizens can enter Italy without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.

Do Worldpackers get paid? ›

"Can Worldpackers help me get a visa or pay for my travel?" Unfortunately, no. Each traveler is responsible for making their own travel arrangements, payments, and for getting their own travel documents in order.

Is Worldpackers better than Workaway? ›

What is better, Workaway or Worldpackers? Worldpackers is better for people doing work exchange for the first time, and people that want an active travel community. Workaway is better for experienced travelers and to find more work exchange options around the world.

Are there any free volunteer abroad programs? ›

You can apply to a no-fee volunteer project with the Peace Corps, Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO), or United Nations (UN) Volunteers. These organizations don't require a program fee, may cover all of your expenses, including airfare and room and board, and even provide a stipend.

What is the biggest volunteer organization? ›

Points of Light is the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.

Do you get paid when volunteering? ›

Volunteering is unpaid work for someone other than a close relative - for example, working for a charity or not for profit organisation. If you're a volunteer, you'll have no contract of employment. This means you decide how many hours you want to volunteer each week.

Are volunteers paid? ›

Volunteering is a rewarding type of work that allows you to use your skills to do something you care about. While most volunteer jobs are unpaid, some offer compensation in the form of paid living expenses and stipends.

How can I stay in Italy for free? ›

Yes, there are places in Italy that offer free stay.
Here are the 15 best places to stay in Italy for free.
  1. Shakespeare and Company. ...
  2. Bed and breakfast. ...
  3. Italy Agriturismi. ...
  4. Globalfreeloaders. ...
  5. Hospitality Club. ...
  6. International Artist Residency. ...
  7. Bellagio Art Residencies. ...
  8. Home Exchange.

Do you need a visa to do Workaway in Italy? ›

It is important to say that there is no specific Workaway Italy visa. You can read more about entering Italy and volunteering here on the official website so you can decide for yourself.

Do you need a visa for Workaway? ›

It is up to the Workawayer to find out about any visa requirements depending on the country they are from and the country they are going to. All Workawayers must obtain the relevant visa (working , volunteering or otherwise) for the country they are travelling to.

Do I need a work visa for Worldpackers? ›

You don't need any specific work visas to use Worldpackers, as what you will be doing is exchanging skills for accommodation, as opposed to finding formal, paid employment which usually does require a work visa. However you will need to ensure you have any necessary travel visas for the country you are visiting.

Can you do Worldpackers while working remotely? ›

As long as you have wifi, you don't need to be physically present in a particular location or in an office for eight hours a day. Not all types of remote work allow you to travel the world full time as a digital nomad. But being a digital nomad is about more than just travel — it's about freedom.

How can I get paid to travel for free? ›

Get Paid To Travel With These 12 Jobs
  1. Public Speaking. ...
  2. Travel Blogging (or fashion, food, mommy, tech, etc.) ...
  3. Brand Ambassador. ...
  4. Teaching English Jobs. ...
  5. Social Media Influencer (the most fun way to get paid to travel!) ...
  6. Work On a Cruise Ship. ...
  7. Yacht / Sailboat Delivery Work. ...
  8. Run Your Own Travel Tours or Become a Guide.
16 Mar 2022

How much does Workaway cost? ›

Register with Workaway.info

Registering with workaway.info is just US$ 49 for an individual account and US$ 59 for a couple account. Accounts are valid for one year enabling you to contact any of the hosts on the host list and access all our other features.

What is better Workaway or Wwoof? ›

Many volunteering friends I know use Workaway and say they prefer it over Wwoof. Why? Because it's cheaper. As a matter of fact, it costs only 30 euros per year and it offers a worldwide list of volunteer solutions.

How old do you have to be to use Worldpackers? ›

2.1 You must be at least 18 years old and be able to enter into binding agreements to access and use the Worldpackers Platform or register a Worldpackers Account.

What skills do you need to volunteer abroad? ›

10 useful skills you'll get from volunteering abroad
  • Teamwork. Most of us work in some kind of team in our normal jobs, but teamwork is a skill that can always be improved. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Negotiation. ...
  • Responsibility. ...
  • Research skills. ...
  • Planning and organising.
26 Nov 2019

Why is there a lack of volunteers? ›

The most common reason for not volunteering is lack of free time (about half of Americans cite this as the main reason), and another common reason is that the volunteer schedules and commitments are too inflexible.

Does volunteer mean free? ›

Volunteering means doing something for others or working for a cause without payment for your time or services. Basically, it's working for free.

Is volunteering abroad safe? ›

There are so many safe volunteer abroad programs. In fact, the majority are super-duper safe. Sure, there might be some nifty scams out there, but with participant reviews you can be more sure of your decision. Follow your volunteer program safety protocols to avoid ouchies and booboos.

How much does a UN volunteer get paid? ›

“The volunteers can only work up to 8years, while getting an allowance of 2,200 USD (189,200) though the amount may vary depending on the dependants that one has,” explains Mr. Keya.

What is the most common form of volunteering? ›

Fundraising for an event is the most common type of volunteer role in the United States. 70% of corporate volunteers believe volunteerism boosts morale more that company mixers.

What kind of volunteering activities you can do? ›

  • Volunteering to work with animals.
  • Volunteer for a community project.
  • Sports volunteering.
  • Volunteering in hospitals.
  • Green volunteering.

Do I need a work visa for Worldpackers? ›

You don't need any specific work visas to use Worldpackers, as what you will be doing is exchanging skills for accommodation, as opposed to finding formal, paid employment which usually does require a work visa. However you will need to ensure you have any necessary travel visas for the country you are visiting.

How can I travel the world for free? ›

  1. Couchsurfing. ...
  2. Research what's free in the places you are going. ...
  3. Start trying to save at least a little / Earn money online. ...
  4. Travel somewhere less expensive. ...
  5. Travel to that less expensive place at the least expensive TIME. ...
  6. Stay in rural areas. ...
  7. Consider hitchhiking or car sharing. ...
  8. Volunteer.

How do world Packers work? ›

Worldpackers acts in a collaborative way, that is, without employment contracts or wages. Each host has a need and amount of hours they need help, on average 20-25 hours per week. The services provided by travelers cannot exceed 32 hours per week and more than 3 consecutive months in the same location.

How can I travel to Ireland for free? ›

To get Free Travel you must be living in Ireland and meet one of the following conditions:
  1. You are aged 66 or over.
  2. You are getting Disability Allowance, Blind Pension, Carer's Allowance or an Invalidity Pension.
  3. You are blind or visually impaired and meet the medical conditions for Blind Pension.
4 Aug 2022

Can you work for free on a tourist visa? ›

If you wish to work in the United States for a temporary period you will require a nonimmigrant work visa. You cannot work on a visitor or business visa, or under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Unlike some countries, the United States government does not issue work visas for casual employment.

How old do you have to be for Worldpackers? ›

2.1 You must be at least 18 years old and be able to enter into binding agreements to access and use the Worldpackers Platform or register a Worldpackers Account.

Which countries do not require work visa? ›

Norway & Svalbard

Svalbard is an independent territory from Norway, and it's one of the easiest countries to move to because you don't actually need a visa.

Is there a job that pays you to travel? ›

Examples of jobs that pay to travel include cruise ship workers, flight attendants, and tour guides. These jobs often dictate when and where you get to travel, and how long for. So, there's less freedom than digital nomad jobs.

How do you get free in 2022? ›

10 Ways to Travel the World For Free in 2022
  1. See the world for free by joining a work exchange platform. ...
  2. Hack your hotel budget by becoming a house sitter. ...
  3. Save cash for future travel by Couchsurfing. ...
  4. Score a free stay while WWOOFing. ...
  5. Travel the world for free by becoming an au pair.

Where is the cheapest place to travel internationally? ›

14 Of the cheapest countries to visit
  1. Cambodia. Southeast Asia is a notoriously cheap area to visit. ...
  2. Laos. Laos is another affordable country in Southeast Asia. ...
  3. Vietnam. ...
  4. Indonesia. ...
  5. Nepal. ...
  6. Morocco. ...
  7. Nicaragua. ...
  8. El Salvador.

Do you get paid for Workaway? ›

What is expected of me as a Workawayer? Generally you will be expected to help around 5 hours per day in exchange for food and accommodation. Some hosts may give a paid allowance to ensure they are offering at least the minimum wage in their country.

How much does Workaway cost? ›

Register with Workaway.info

Registering with workaway.info is just US$ 49 for an individual account and US$ 59 for a couple account. Accounts are valid for one year enabling you to contact any of the hosts on the host list and access all our other features.

How do I apply for Worldpackers? ›

Complete your profile, watch the video lessons in the Academy, and earn certificates to stand out to hosts. Apply to as many positions as you like, and get in contact with hosts. If a host thinks you're a good fit for their position, they'll pre-approve you. Get your documents and tickets ready for your volunteer trip.

What does P mean on free travel card? ›

If FT-P is written on the card the holder is personally entitled to free travel. If FT+S is written on the card the holder can travel with their spouse, partner or cohabitant. If FT+C is written on the card the holder can have a companion (over 16) travel with them for free.

How much bank balance is required for Ireland tourist visa? ›

Please note that there is no set amount of funds that will result in the approval or refusal of an application. The Visa Officer will decide whether your have enough funds based on your individual circumstances. Your 3 most recent payslips.


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