As I was sitting in my renewable energy class in the south of Israel, my lecturer mentioned the interesting hot water system at this eco village in Italy. Just about a moment later I emailed them and asked for an internship with them. Literally seconds later they replied and provided me with a three week opening slot a few weeks after my studies ended. Boom! That was easy. Off I went.
I have been to Italy so many times. But never to the Italian rivera and also never this rural. This lovely village you will find at the end of a very interesting busride into the Torri valley, between the foothills of the lower Alps. Ventimiglia is your last train stop and decent sized town for shopping.
As you get dropped in the Torri village centre, it is still another 10min walk uphill to the Ecovillaggio Torri Superiore. They say this use to be an old ruins of the original Torri village but became abandoned many years ago and they had to spend almost twenty years rebuilding it again. With about twenty odd permanent adults living here, a bunch of kids, each has their own house inside the medieval village, a true architectural jewel.
Accept for the very effective and interesting mass heating system, I would say their social model probably impressed me most. After so many strangers they have allowed into their space since 2002, they still made my three week stay feel like I was visiting family. Their ability to successfully run such a close ‘family’. I learned so much, but also about olive harvesting, putting olives inbrine for eatable purposes a year from now and some super amazing family recipes in the communal kitchen.
This experience probably superseded all my volunteering experiences in many levels. Absolutely loved spending time with my new found friends and learned about their lives. Hope to visit here again soon 🙂