WWOOFing in Italy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011  at 7:00 AM
Welcome to Part 4 of my Travel Memories series as I prepare for my upcoming departure in June!  Click here to read other Travel Memories stories (including bungee jumping and staying on floating raft houses in Thailand)!

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is an organization that connects organic farm hosts around the world and traveling workers, where a traveler can trade a few hours of labor a day in exchange for room and board at an organic farm.  Chris and I had heard fabulous reviews of the experience from friends and so we decided to give it a try in Italy, a few summers ago.  We worked at a farm in central Italy for a few weeks in the summer and it was fantastic.

Making homemade pasta in Italy
Helping out in the kitchen--my favorite job!

We ended up working at a horse training camp/agri-tourism farm at a small place outside of Forli.  The location was beautiful, nestled between vinyard fields on one side and wheat fields on the other.  We worked about three hours every morning and another two in the afternoon, and in exchange we were given a room to sleep in (the family actually had a small hotel, so we had one of the hotel rooms), three meals a day (the mom was a cook at their restaurant, so the food was amazing), horses to ride, internet to use sparingly, a ride to and from the train station and overwhelming kindness and welcome.

Riding horses through Italian countryside WWOOF
Riding the horses one afternoon on a small trail from the house, through the adjoining fields.

Chris and I will be using HelpX to find similar arrangements in the upcoming year, mainly because I like their interface better (it's easier to use and they have a review system), but I loved our WWOOF experience and I would be thrilled to do it again.

Making sausages in Italy with WWOOF host
At a celebration on the farm where a pig was slaughtered and the meat was processed in one day.  Homemade sausages, pork rinds and bacon, yum!

WWOOF host family in Italy
With our fabulous host family, thank you so much!
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