Annual Membership Giving
Agriculture and tourism are only part of what is done at Spannocchia. Our primary mission is connecting people to an authentic Tuscan landscape, local food systems, and sustainable living practices to transform their relationship with the natural environment. Through membership donations, we are able to create opportunities for people to experience the cultural history of rural Tuscany as well as modern regenerative farming practices at work. Donations help us run educational programs and underwrite the costs of our internship program. Through this work, we're also helping to preserve the estate.
Membership at any level allows you to participate in an on-site educational program or reserve accommodations through the agriturismo for a visit with friends or family. While you are there, you’ll also enjoy:
- A welcome gift on arrival.
- Special discounted pricing for tours and activities, including cooking classes and tastings.
- A complimentary historical tour of the Castello.
Members continue to enjoy a variety of benefits after (or before!) their visit as well:
- Ongoing participation in our international community, including information about the organization and upcoming programs, classic Italian recipes, virtual programming, and sustainability news.
- Early access to imported Spannocchia products in the U.S.
- Occasional members-only travel offers for discounted farmhouse rentals or B&B stays (certain membership levels only).
We wouldn’t be Spannocchia without a little help from our friends. In return, we promise that once you stay at Spannocchia, you’ll always have family in Italy!
Our Internship Scholarship Fund
In spring of 2022, Friends of Spannocchia launched our Internship Scholarship Fund.
Our Farm Internship Program—with a focus on regenerative agriculture, respect for biodiversity, local food systems, sustainable living, and Italian history and culture—has always been an example of our commitment to the tenets of learning, growing, and sustaining. As we actively work for greater equity and inclusion in our educational efforts, we are also committed to an internship program that is accessible to individuals from more diverse backgrounds, places, and experiences.
Recognizing that the internship program fee is a barrier for some would-be participants, this fund helps us offer need-based scholarships for interns. We’ve also been expanding our outreach and developing new partnerships to support our equity efforts.
We believe in the importance of providing our unique educational experience to more diverse groups of young adults who share a common passion for sustainability, local food, and organic farming. While the internship program has always inspired both professional and personal growth—and hopefully new generations of environmental changemakers—with more diversity, this impact deepens individually and expands collectively.
Will you help us make the internship program experience available to a broader audience with a contribution to the Internship Scholarship Fund? Every dollar counts toward the ongoing work of greater equity and inclusion in our internship programming.
Internship Scholarship Fund contributions will be designated for educational scholarships and other DEI-related internship program expenses only, at the discretion of the Friends of Spannocchia and Associazione Castello di Spannocchia staff with oversight from the Friends of Spannocchia Board of Directors. The initial goal is to support at least one intern per session starting in 2023. As always, we encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for our internship program. We commit to ensure that all individuals are treated equitably, to recognize the value of a diverse internship group, and to welcome the unique perspective and life experience that each intern brings to the program.
Become a Member
Agriculture and tourism are only part of what we do at Spannocchia. Our primary mission is for the estate to serve as an international model for sustainability and an educational center for responsible farming and tourism practices. Through membership donations, we are able to create a place for people to experience the authentic history of rural Tuscany as well as modern sustainable farming practices at work.
Donations through memberships help us preserve the estate, run educational programs and underwrite the costs of our internship program. We wouldn’t be Spannocchia without a little help from our friends.
In return, we promise that once you stay at Spannocchia, you’ll always have family in Italy!
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT SPANNOCCHIA
Many "Friends" of Spannocchia choose to support us with donations to our general operating fund, often in addition to maintaining an annual membership. These gifts, of any size, provide necessary support to all aspects of our organization, and we are so truly grateful.
To donate online: Visit our giving site and enter your desired gift amount.
For gifts of stock: For some donors, gifts of appreciated stock are a desirable way to make a difference. If you are interested in exploring this option or to receive instructions for making a stock transfer, please email Executive Director Sarah Allenby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make payment by check: Any type of donation, including membership, can be paid by check if you prefer. Please make checks payable to "Friends of Spannocchia" and mail to: PO Box 10531, Portland, ME 04104.
SUPPORT LEARNING, GROWING, & SUSTAINING
ANN HOOD (RI, USA)
PROGRAM GROUP COORDINATOR
In 2008, I got the phone call writers dream of: Bon Appetit wanted me to go to Tuscany for two weeks and stay at a tenuta, indulge in all the food and classes offered, and write an article about it. Before you could say prosciutto, my family and I were on a plane to Italy. From the moment I arrived at Spannocchia, I was enchanted. One night, enjoying yet another fantastic meal, I looked around at the late sunlight casting a golden glow everywhere, and thought: I need to bring writers here.
And so I did. The Spannocchia Writers Workshop lets two dozen writers come to Spannocchia to engage with award-winning, bestselling writers. And while participants learn how to bring their ideas alive on the page, we all—students, faculty, and I—learn so much more. We learn about sustainable farming and gardening and how salumi is made. We take a cooking class, meet the Cinta Senese pigs, and watch the interns, staff, and owners make this amazing place work.
That’s why I come back year after year. To teach. To learn. To grow.
Kaushalya Patil (Mumbai, India)
Summer 2019 Farm Intern
Waking up to chickens clucking and birds chirping on a farm in the heart of Tuscany is truly a gift. Being part of the Orto (Vegetable Garden) Team at Spannocchia gave me first-hand experience of seeing where food comes from.
As a chef and baker, food is an integral part of my life. Growing, cultivating, and nurturing my own food made me realize how precious it is and how broken our food system really is. My internship at Spannocchia not only taught me how to grow vegetables, but also how to grow ideas to make the world a better place. It’s something I will cherish forever.
In his book Slow Food Nation, Carlo Petrini writes, “We cannot ask everything of politics, we must begin to behave differently, starting with our own little everyday acts. Everyone must take on this responsibility, everyone can make their contribution.” Spannocchia gave me the foundation to grow this belief for myself and apply it to my own family farm a short drive from Mumbai. Whenever I pluck a mango from our farm tree, it reminds me of Spannocchia.
Richard Olken (MA, USA)
VP Friends of Spannocchia Board
My wife Vicki and I first went to Spannocchia in 1984 to visit our friends Francesca and Randall, as they were clearing overgrown gardens on Francesca’s ancestral property. Little did we know that these initial efforts to beautify the property would lead to their life work of sustaining Spannocchia and the agricultural and social history of rural Tuscany.
In 1997, we returned with our extended family. We enjoyed pizza night with visiting musicians while the youngest Spannocchians danced in the moonlight. My mother, a world traveler, declared it the most wonderful of all her adventures—a demonstration that this authentic place and its traditions are worth sustaining and sharing.
Visiting Spannocchia with our grandson and his parents in 2006, we saw the full effect of what is achieved there—the living example of rural Tuscan life, agriculture, conservation, and education—sustained for future generations. Experiencing the wonder and delight of a young child at Spannocchia reinforced for me that our work is critical. In this ever-changing modern world, we continue to value and sustain Spannocchia’s centuries-old connection to the earth and our mission to preserve it through agriculture, education, and reverence.