Connecting with the Italian Ecovillage Network

Feb 02, 11 Connecting with the Italian Ecovillage Network

I have returned from the meeting of the Italian Ecovillage Network (Rive) with a great sense of appreciation for the things we are doing at Damanhur and the diversity of the ecovillages in Italy.

Macaco and I went to Torri Superiore in the Ligura region from January 29 – 30, 2011. Driving down along the Ventimiglia coast, I sensed the energy of the water and the sea, soft and welcoming, and the landscape green and vibrant – a few palms here and there, and in the valley, mimosa flowers already in bloom.


Torri Superiore is a small medieval village with lots of Germans, children (9 kids and 12 adults) and two donkeys, which offers hospitality and courses on permaculture and communication.

I quickly got to know lots of people and the characteristics of the Italian ecovillages: the simplicity and freedom of the Elfi (Elves), the political-practical vision of Bagnaia, the maternal family-oriented environment of Torri.

Many points were discussed during the meeting:

1) Challenges within ecovillages: various themed group discussions

2) The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) Europe – Encouraged the presence of people from Rive at the GEN Ecovillages and Sustainable Living Conference in Tamera, July 2011. Rive is also planning a regional meeting of GEN Europe along with national ecovillage networks in Austria, France and Slovenia.

3) The Rive summer meeting – the next Rive meeting will be May 7 – 8, 2011, probably in Abruzzo, during which Rive will plan the program for the big summer meeting July 27 – 31, 2011. Usually about 500 people from all over Italy go to this event.

4) Product and skill exchange – Rive is doing an inventory of skills and products that ecovillages can offer to each other, both as work and as exchange. This would permit us all to favor people from the network when our communities have various needs.

5) The law about communities – Macaco gave an update about the proposal for the national law that legally recognizes intentional communities, which was presented in Parliament. There was also discussion about the intention to create a network of networks that includes Conacreis, GEN and Rive.

6) Rive manifesto – We read the draft of the manifesto of Rive which elaborates values of ecological awareness and solidarity.

Rive2I enjoyed most of all the moments of movement, creativity, playfulness and sharing. Alfredo from Bagnaia guided us in circle dances. Feeling a bit tired, we said to each other, “Three songs, max.” Then, the energy and enthusiasm led us to doing at least 12: Greek, Irish, Czech dances. Some simple, some very complex.

Sunday morning was dedicated to a dynamic on our personal relationship with money, an intimate and deep exploration to open new pathways to abundance. We elaborated many practical strategies to always have money  at disposition, both personally and collectively.