Spannocchia Foundation Membership Fact Sheet
The Spannocchia Foundation supports Castello di Spannocchia, an educational center at an organic farm near Siena, Italy. Spannocchia promotes awareness, understanding and practice of sustainable resource use in rural communities to visiting foundation members who stay at the property during their travels in Italy. The farm emphasizes the importance of preservation and stewardship of architecture, landscape, forest, wildlife, and traditional agricultural methods, animals, and plants combined with the use of current technological advances in organic agriculture.
Your membership supports the following activities at Castello di Spannocchia:
- Cultural and educational programs and new environmental education initiatives
- Residential internship program focused on organic farming practices
- Conservation and preservation research
- Promotion of global understanding of cultural heritage and sustainability
Facts about Spannocchia:
- A family-owned 1,100 acre organic agricultural estate
- A wildlife refuge
- An anchor property in the Tuscan Riserva Naturale Alto Merse
- A certified organic farm
- A registered historic site
- Spannocchia is a multi-national community of Italian and American residents, Italian employees, interns, program participants, and farmhouse guests.
- Spannocchia practices sustainable farming techniques and conservation research.
- The property includes a 12th century castle tower, rolling fields, chestnut forests, olive groves and vineyards, historic ruins, hiking trails and a pool.
- Spannocchia produces fruits and vegetables, grain and hay for animal feed, wheat and faro, cured and fresh pork, beef, and lamb, olive oil, wine, honey, jam, and other preserves.
- Approximately 900 of the 1,100 acres are forested. Spannocchia’s woodland is one of the leading examples in Tuscany of a sustainable managed forest.
- There are over 700 olive trees, 40 acres of grains and pasture, 5 acres of vineyards
- Spannocchia’s “Noah’s Ark” animal project is part of a worldwide effort to maintain genetic biodiversity by preserving traditional but endangered breeds of farm animals including Cinta Senese pigs, Pomarancina sheep, Calvana cows, Monterufolino ponies, and Monte Amiata donkeys.
- There is a natural wastewater treatment system that treats all of the wastewater from the central housing area using plant matter.
- Delfino Cinelli bought the property in the 1920’s. It was originally farmed under the mezzadria tenant farming system, which lasted until the 1950’s.
- The Spannocchia Foundation was founded in 2002 and sponsors a wide variety of cultural and environmental education programs at Castello di Spannocchia including archeology field study, cooking classes, hiking and garden tours, photography and music, architectural work, landscape painting, Italian culture and language, printmaking, ceramics, and writing.
- Spannocchia hosts approximately 200 educational program participants and 25 farm and guest service interns each year.
- The farm internship program provides the opportunity for the participants to learn about the Italian language, local cultural history, local ecology, conservation, sustainable forestry practices, animal care, and organic farming and gardening by means of hands-on work experience with the local Italian farm staff.
- There are seven farmhouses available to rent that encourage guests to explore the Tuscan countryside and learn about Spannocchia through our daily educational activities.
- Spannocchia hosts weddings, community events and offers farm education for local school children in the Siena area.
Current members of the Spannocchia Foundation receive the following benefits:
- Reserve accommodations at Spannocchia for a visit with friends or family
- Receive the annual spring newsletter
- Access to Spannocchia products and merchandise
- Participation in educational programs and cooking classes
- Advance notice on community events in the US
- Historical tour of the Castello during your visit to Spannocchia
- As a Friend member level ($100+) in 2010, you will receive each quarter by email, a Tuscan recipe packet featuring recipes to create a seasonal meal of Spannocchia favorites.
Student – $30
Individual – $45
Family – $70
Friend – $100
Benefactor – $250
Steward – $500
Patron – $1,000
Chestnut Giving Circle $1,000-$2,499 (annual commitment for multiple years)
Cypress Giving Circle $2,500 + (annual commitment for multiple years)
Get involved with the Spannocchia Foundation:
- Become a member!
- Participate in an educational program at Castello di Spannocchia
- Encourage students to explore the Farm Internship program
- Share Spannocchia’s mission with friends and family
- Attend a community event in your area that supports Spannocchia
- Take a cooking or language class or other related activities during your visit
- Support the Spannocchia Symposium or donate to any specific area of our mission