The story of G.I.A.N. Section of Volterra

The G.I.A.N. Section of Volterra (PI) was founded in 1978 from a group of people who got in touch with Naturfreunde during a travel in France. From the beginning the purpose of the section was to give a chance to the members to pass free time in healthy activities in direct contact with nature. The founders immediately started to search for a ‘house of the nature’. Thanks to the Psychiatric Hospital of Volterra they obtained the allocation of a ruined farmhouse, which was completely renovated and became habitable. Today the pictures dating in the first years of the work that has been done in the house and the story of the section, make a photo archive of its life. The house ‘Il Vile’ has hosted thousands of guests from all the parts of Europe, thus enabling the starting point of friendships and working relationships in an international scale.
Among the guests we find kids, groups, associations of nature conservation and of other kinds as well, schools, holidaymakers, scout, etc. The flagship of the section is today the astronomical observatory built very close to the house, where are held courses and lectures of explanatory and educational purpose. G.I.A.N. section of Volterra has been registered as an Association of Social Promotion enrolled in the register of A.S.P. of the province of Pisa.




The activities of G.I.A.N. Section of Volterra

In G.I.A.N. Section of Volterra the groups being part of the Association are also promoters of important activities:

  • European Project such as “Leonardo Da Vinci” project, which from 1998 involves Institutions and Authorities in Italy and Germany. Its purpose is the mobility and the professional training of young artisans who have recently taken their degree or are making their very first work experience. The latter perform valuable work in the antique architecture of Volterra.
  • Amateur Astronoms Group of Volterra: this activity takes place during the whole year thanks to didactic projects with educational establishments; weekly opening of the Astronomical Observatory; astronomical observations, practical course of astronomy, partecipation at the photo exhibition “The Nature in all of its aspects”.
  • The Photographic Group of Volterra: this activity takes place during the whole year, with the collaboration of other associations, thanks to the course of photography of 1st level, with the organizations of the exhibiton “The Nature in all of its aspects”, with the realization and/or partecipation in photo exhibitions even in collaborations with other photographic groups.
  • Social activity: particularly active with other associations, with the final purpose to program and realize events held in the house ‘Il Vile’.
  • Distance adoption: economic contribution, 15 years by now, for the financing of the school activity of a kid resident in Burkina Faso.
  • “Libera” Association of Don Ciotti: Adherence of the association and the organization of events in ‘Il Vile’ , with the purpose of financing projects which fight againts all kinds of mafia.
  • Italian Red Cross: the structure of the house is often offered for organized days of training on the territory in the ambit of the activities of Civil Protection.




Secretary address: Gruppo Italiano Amici della Natura C.P.50 – 56048 Volterra (Pisa)
House address: Casa per ferie “Il Vile” G.I.A.N., Loc. Mazzola – 56048 Volterra (Pisa) – Italia
Mail:; for booking:
Names and phone numbers: Silke Zoller 0588/800950588/39081

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La Casa GIAN della Sezione