Ways you can help
Italy is already one of the world's most popular travel destinations, and with good reason: the sumptuous blend of spectacular scenery, fabulous food, wonderful wine and passionate people is a compelling proposition.
Now you can enjoy all of this and more: make it meaningful by caring for Rome's homeless and refugees, and gaining insights into their lives, as you prepare meals, serve them, and also hand out clothes and sleeping bags, treating them with dignity and respect.
Our suggested itinerary covers the very best of Rome, the eternal city, including an insider's tour of the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo, the Papal residence. It then takes you to a lesser known, but very much up and coming, region of Italy: Puglia. Filled with UNESCO World Heritage sites and breathtaking scenery, you can also indulge in the finest food whilst of course enjoying superb, unique luxury hotels throughout.
Day 1 Arrive Rome, met at airport, transfer to Grand Hotel Palace, dinner at Il Piccolo Mondo, one of Rome’s best restaurants.
Day 2 VIP tour of Rome; Pre-dinner presentation of the days ahead, with your volunteer coordinator, Mary, and your tour guide / host, Steve, who lived on the streets of Rome for 7 years.
Hear how Rome’s invisible street people live and survive and to hear how you can work with the homeless and refugees in Rome.
Day 3 From 10am: A day at a Refugee Center, working in the kitchen chopping vegetables, shelling eggs, mixing, stirring and helping the cook, with a team of kitchen volunteers. Or sorting clothes into sizes and types, helping refugees find their size. Then serving lunch, clearing up and finally winding down in the late afternoon.
Evening – a night walk with Steve to see where the homeless sleep.
Day 4 Morning: experience being a gladiator at the gladiator training school, or, choose to visit Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the Pope. Enjoy unique access to its gardens and lunch on the lake.
In the afternoon, assemble and box up meals with Mary, sort donated clothes and new sleeping bags, etc., pack vehicles and transport them to Tiburtina.
In the evening, at Tiburtina bus station, take part in handing out food, shoes, clothes and sleeping bags to the homeless who meet us there.
Day 5 Attend the Pope’s address in St. Peter’s Square, 10.30 – 11.30am, followed by a light lunch and then a tour of the Vatican Museum with VIP access to restricted rooms.
After the tour, Steve will take you on a `homeless’ walk through Rome, to the soup kitchens, to meet a nun at the Vatican who oversees a canteen where the homeless queue on a ticket system, the first 50 get in, the others get a panini outside, to the places they use to wash themselves.
Steve will explain what it’s like to live on the street, how people survive, the tips and hints for getting through each day.
Day 6 Fly to Bari in Puglia, explore the sea caves around Polignano a Mare, check-in to Borgo Egnazia Resort and Spa
Day 7 Cycling along the coast through olive groves and explore the countryside, meet with olive growers
Day 8 Meet an artisanal cheese maker then discover Puglia’s famous trulli houses (UNESCO World Heritage cone shaped dwellings) in Alberobello, then explore the cave dwellings of Sassi (also UNESCO World Heritage listed). Check-in to Sextantio Hotel, which itself is a stunningly restored cave dwelling.Price Guide
- $8,650 (£6,991, €8,203) per person, based on a minimum of two people traveling, twin share.
- 5* luxury hotels throughout
- Airport transfers
- Expert local guides
- Domestic flights
- Lunches whilst volunteering
- All breakfasts
- International flights
- Visas - this is issued on arrival for most nationalities
- Any other meals other than those specified above
- Travel insurance (compulsory - we can arrange this for you)
Customizing your trip
- You can customize this trip to suit your specific requirements
- Any aspect of the itinerary can be altered, from excursions to accommodation
Our suggestions to customize this itinerary:
- Explore the wealth of cultural treasures in Florence
- Relax in a luxury villa in Tuscany or Umbria
- Ski or hike in the stunning Dolomites Mountains
- Sail on Lake Como or Lake Garda
- Be seranaded by a gondolier in Venice
- Watch an opera in the Roman ampitheatre in Taormina, Sicily
- Relive Il Postino on Procida and Salina
- Hike the Cinque Terre and explore the five remarkable villages