Would you like to make a difference for yourself and for the wider community ? How about organising a workshop in Zonca? If you are considering organising a workshop please keep in mind that it is best to arrive a few days early to acclimatize, get acquainted with people, learn where things are, find out what you can and can’t do and get properly settled in. Especially for people arriving from big cities, Zonca can take some time to adjust to.


Check the Calendar for Workshops !

If there are workshops, they are generally announced on the calandar on this website. We are open to proposals from anyone who cares to organise a workshop in Zonca. Keep in mind that we charge ± €15.- euro per participant per day.

This will help you to budget the workshop. While we aim to provide accommodation for your workshop participants, you will be responsible for feeding them. You will need to make prior arrangements with your host or hosts (see our guidelines). Also, keep in mind that Zonca is a rustic place and accommodation, including spaces for workshops is pretty basic. There are several large rooms where you could comfortably seat around 15-20 people and there are areas in the gardens that are ideal for lager groups when it is warmer weather. Apart from that there is of course an entire mountain for hiking.


Host your workshop together with a vibrant, committed group of people, in a beautiful place, surrounded by pristine mountains, lakes, springs and forests.

More and more people are looking for ways to combine personal development with social activism and community building as a means of promoting peaceful transition to a new and hopefully more just economy based on sharing and caring. But what exactly does this transition entail, and what skills can we develop to promote it? How does “personal development” empower us to counter powerful, socially engendered beliefs that shape our collective consciousness and prevent us from actually making transformations happen?

We are particularly interested in hosting workshops aimed at developing personal skills and insights while building and restoring a beautiful ancient village that is gradually developing into a vibrant community.

Last year September we hosted a team of 15 volunteers from all around the world. Women and children participated in building work and the workload was not too heavy for anyone. Plus, there are always people who really get into it! You do need to be in reasonably good physical health. Also, the weather can be rainy and cold, in which case we either take a break or change the way we work.

Given the amount of care lavished on the teams by everyone in Zonca, including incredible meals and time-out in the evenings playing music or sitting by the fire, this is definitely an experience we hope to repeat in future! If you would like to host a workshop there will be plenty for your participants to do after hours and the community will generally mix and participate where possible.

Work & Building experience!

Working with stone to construct walls and roofs is valuable experience for those intending to do their own building as well as for those of you who would like to gain some expertise and do this type of construction professionally. There is work for those who are good at it! Since the earthquakes in Italy there is plenty of work in reconstruction. In addition, the type of houses and walls in Zonca can also be found throughout Spain and Portugal (and many other rural areas around the world). You will gain valuable experience.


Workshop participants can also participate in any chores in and around the village. Activities they might be able to join in include:

  • Gardening

  • Clearing paths

  • Cutting hay and wood

  • Preparing food

  • Doing shopping

  • Washing dishes


Extracurricular activities may include any of the following:

  • Music, singing

  • Swimming

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

  • Edible wild plant gathering

  • Talking stick circles

  • Presentations

  • Storytelling

  • Singing

  • Nature hikes

  • Art

  • Cooking

  • Anything else you feel like contributing


Conditions for Workshops in Zonca:

In addition to volunteer work in support of the workshop itself such as cooking, shopping, gardening, chopping wood and cleaning, there may also be some work in aid of the village such as clearing paths, gardening, cutting grass, gathering hay, repairing walls and possibly doing some building / repair work. These activities, approximating 1.5 to 3 hours per day depending on our enthusiasm, will be coordinated by the locals who have extensive knowledge of what is needed. (So you can either help constructing walls and roofs or do something lighter so that others can do the heavy work).

What to do if you are interested in organising a Workshop:

Please let us know whether you are interested in organising a workshop as soon as possible so we can proceed to delegate tasks for organizing the events.


If you plan to organise a workshop hosted in Zonca please consider offering a financial contribution towards accommodation. You must make arrangements with your hosts prior to arriving. Approximately €15.- euro a day is fair if you can afford it. This is not unreasonable considering the work that goes into collecting wood, maintaining the houses and workshop spaces.

Travel expenses

You are responsible for your own travel expenses. If you have made arrangements you can get a pick up from the train or bus stations. There are regular bus services to Seppiana from Villadossola and Dommodossala. Information about travel is available below.

Other Important information:

Workshop participants and organisers must take out (travel) insurance. Hosts in Zonca do not accept liability for accidents during your stay and throughout the workshops. And although we really take care to avoid accidents, there are many ways in which accidents can happen in such a rustic surrounding.

Zonca lies at an altitude of 550 meters and the village and surrounding areas lie on steep slopes. The village has been derelict for a long time and many walls are unstable. We will of course take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all participants however risks cannot be eliminated entirely and you need to be adequately covered by insurance for everything from common colds to falls on paths, tick bites, bee stings, snake or scorpion bites and stings (in fifteen years I do not recall a single case), rock falls, tree falls, work related accidents, burns from fires or cooking etc.

Also, please keep in mind that the road and the path to the village are quite a strenuous uphill climb of about 45 minutes. You can take as long as you like, and there is a lift to bring heavy backpacks and other goods up to the village.

Getting there:

By Train: To get to Zonca travellers can use the train system. I checked out prices and estimated that getting to Zonca from The Hague, Netherlands, by rail would cost something close to €170,-. This involves taking a train right through to Brig in Switzerland and then a local train to Domodossala where pick up can be arranged.

By Road: there is easy access to Zonca through Domodossala, following road signs to Valle de Antrona and ending at the village of Seppiana. From Seppiana there is either a steep road all the way to a parking place 50 meters from Zonca or a path, behind the Church, leading to Zonca (45 minute walk and its steep).




Children are welcome to participate in workshops where suited, however if you plan to bring one or more child, please make sure that you understand that arrangements have to be made, e.g. for childcare and accommodation, bathing etc. We are open to suggestions concerning workshops for children, e.g. nature walks, sitting by the fire, music and story telling etc. Zonca is a particularly beautiful place for children, however it is also a ruin where there are unstable walls, steep drops etc. that require vigilance from an adult.

What to bring

  • Sleeping bag, blankets and sheets

  • Tent and Mattress (if camping)

  • Swimming gear and towels

  • Torch (absolutely essential at night) & batteries

  • Song texts (copies if introducing your own music/song)

  • Comfortable clothing for Hap Ki Do, meditation/yoga

  • Warm sweater

  • Rain wear including boots

  • Work gloves

  • Hiking shoes

  • Camera