Internship Program

Spannocchia offers a unique farm internship program. There are three sessions per year (spring, summer, and fall). Eight interns per session work alongside our Italian farm staff to help run our diversified organic farm and agritourism in rural Tuscany.

Spring: March 2 – May 28, 2018
Spring Application Deadline: December 1, 2017

Summer: June 1 – August 27, 2018
Summer Application Deadline: February 12, 2018

Fall: August 30 – Nov 26, 2018
Fall Application Deadline: May 4, 2018

What to Expect

  • 01

    An introduction to the various themes of Spannocchia including farming, agricultural tourism, sustainability, community living and Tuscan culture.

  • 02

    A weekly 30+ hours of manual labor, bi-weekly Italian language instruction, educational presentations, and bi-monthly fieldtrips to surrounding areas of interest.

  • 03

    Independent travel and exploration of the surrounding regions of Italy is highly encouraged to provide an even broader experience to participants.

Winter Volunteering

Join us for a quieter time of year at Spannocchia, with work focusing on animal care and upkeep of our vineyards and olive groves.

Winter: December 7, 2018 – March 4, 2019
Application deadline: September 14, 2018
Notification date: September 25, 2018

2019-2020 Winter Volunteer dates will be posted by June 2019

What to Expect

  • 01

    Spannocchia will be accepting a total of four farm volunteers for the 2017-2018 winter season.

  • 02

    Volunteers can expect to work between 30 and 40 hours per week and will have free time to explore other areas of personal interest as well as the Tuscan countryside.

  • 03

     Four farm volunteers will work concurrently for a period of 88 days. All volunteers will also be responsible for rotating chores to help maintain the Tenuta.

Butcher Apprenticeship

Work alongside our on-site butcher to learn all aspects of creating artisanal salumi. Butcher apprentices will be exposed to all phases of production, from slaughter to the meat curing process to assisting at markets.

1: August 27, 2018 – November 19, 2018
2: September 14, 2018 – December 7, 2018
3: October 19, 2018 – January 11, 2019
4: November 26, 2018 – February 18, 2019
5: December 10, 2018 – March 4, 2019
6: January 14, 2019 – April 8, 2019
7: February 11, 2018 – May 6, 2019
8: March 4, 2019 – May 27, 2019

Application deadline: Varies per session, see application form.

2018-2019 Butcher Apprenticeship dates will be posted by March 2018

What to Expect

  • 01

    Spannocchia will be accepting a total of eight butcher apprentices each year. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. You may apply for multiple sessions with the same application. Please rank your session preferences.

  • 02

    Butcher Apprenticeships can expect to work between 30 and 40 hours per week and will have free time to explore other areas of personal interest as well as the Tuscan countryside.

  • 03

    Butcher Apprentices will work concurrently for a period of 85 days. All volunteers will also be responsible for rotating chores to help maintain the Tenuta.

For these interns, Spannocchia was love at first bite. Learn how the tenuta changed them forever.

When I arrived at Spannocchia I was put to work in the orto with Carmen. The most experience I had with horticulture up to that point was buying and subsequently killing a basil plant. But under Carmen’s unfailingly patient tutelage, I began to learn the joy of seeing something start as a tiny seed and grow into our dinner. (I also learned how to stop killing the basil!) My time at Spannocchia taught me to appreciate where my food comes from and how important it is to teach future generations to treat the food we eat with respect.
I arrived at Spannocchia with no idea what would happen in the next three months. I was also the only German girl in a group of seven Americans. So I figured some change would occur, at least in my accent. From daily dinners, adventurous leftover lunch experiments, made-up holidays, never-ending aperitivos, stolen cake from the kitchen, late night cheese plates and pizza nights with tears, food at Spannocchia changed my life. But mostly it was the people I shared it with. Our community and our work gave me the feeling of being part of something important. This group of people with such different backgrounds and cultures – but united by their love for food and motivated by the example of a better and sustainable world of food – showed me that with passion and solidarity we can make our global food system a better one.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how this happened, but the “where” is easy. I spent three months at Spannocchia, drinking in the sights and sounds and flavors of the place. I applied for, and was selected to be, one of the animale interns. This thrilled me because I had always loved being outside, enjoyed working in [horse] barns, and am not afraid of a little sweat and gore! Nonetheless, I had no idea that after a few short months, which flew by altogether too quickly, I would go on to work on farms in West Virginia and Colorado before moving back to my home state of Michigan and starting a small farm with my [Italian American!] husband. None of this would have happened without Spannocchia. And now I am lucky to wake up every day and be reminded of my time in the hills of Tuscany. We, too, are raising a rare, heritage breed of pigs, and we even cure our own meats. Thank you to everyone at Spannocchia for teaching me to love it all.

Learn more about Kate’s farm:

I was a 26-year-old New York City girl exploring my growing interest in food and farming after quitting my job as a journalist to earn a degree at the French Culinary Institute. I was drawn to the culture of food in Italy and the central role that fresh, simple meals played in people’s lives, but I wasn’t sure if I could hack the long days doing physical work. Turns out I loved it, and when I returned to New York I was lucky enough to meet my now-husband who had also worked on farms in Italy and we started our farm, The Kitchen Garden, in Massachusetts in 2006. We are now entering our 10th season and we continue to be inspired by our time in Italy. We take pleasure in growing Italian specialties like fava and barlotti beans, radicchio, fennel, broccoli rabe and dandelions.
The three months of my Spannocchia internship were an education. I learned that the difference between two identical slabs of prosciutto can be discovered by sniffing a hollow horse bone inserted into the center. I learned that knowing where your food comes from can be as simple as a square of red earth. Most importantly, I learned that there is a pace of life that can just feel right and that I would want to make it my job to find it for myself one day.

Read Patrick’s Inner Fabrications blog.