Volunteer at Victoria House and live ‘Italy

During December, I was living and volunteer at Victoria House Hostel in Genova. Very classy but relaxed place. A full Italian experience!
I won’t complain about the weather, it was a nice temperature, some nice sunny days, only a few days of rain… a nice winter in my opinion!

Genova is an interesting city, in the seaside of Italy, with many beautiful places nearby, to visit. But let’s talk first about the Hostel and the stay in Genova.

Piazza de Ferrari, Italy

Victoria House Hostel

Great points for Victoria win your heart 

  • Cinema room, this is something new, and there is even a popcorn machine! (Yes, popcorn machine, I must say I’ve enjoyed that, it was fun)
  • General good facilities (really nice kitchen, with everything you may need to cook or bake, bedrooms, bathroom, reception, all very comfortable);
  • Beautiful balcony to enjoy a coffee and every rain of sun (despite the trains noise);
  • Free wifi/ Free laundry, how not to love this while you’re travelling? Yes, simple things matter!
  • Young and friendly team. This you will need to find out by yourself!
  • Least, but not last, I really like the Hostel decoration and artistic / creative side!

About being a volunteer there

  • There are 4 volunteers staying at the same time, who will work in shifts (morning, afternoon, and evening)
  • Volunteers share a dorm;
  • Morning: helping settle the breakfast, light cleaning after breakfast, check out some things around, and reception (check-out guests probably)
  • Afternoon: reception (check-in guests, most probably), checking thing around the hostel if needed.
  • Evening: mostly reception, having the hostel in order.
  • A volunteer helps 24h/ every week (4 shifts of 6 hours)
  • So, 3 days off a week! You can explore or visit other places!
  • At least one person of the staff (Italian) will always be around from 8 or 9 am to 7 or 8 pm (the time may depend on season time);

How much did I spend

Going to Italy, one of the first things I thought (and I was a bit afraid of) was that this country would be much more expensive than the places I was staying before (Czech Republic, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina)… Turns out, there was no difference!

I’ve spent around 32 euros in 3 weeks (21 days), always cooking, not so much eating out – but of course buying some focaccia here and there – because it’s typical, it’s very good, and it’s vegan (simple one, with olives, with onions, etc).

2 ways of saving money

Cooking:
One of the advantages of volunteering at a Hostel is obviously to stay for free; besides that, the breakfast was included (and fairly good coffee!).
There is an amazing kitchen where guests and volunteers/staff can cook or store items in the fridge – that’s a good way to save money.

Choosing where to buy/What to eat:
Very near the hostel, there are 3 small supermarkets, 1 of them recently open and fairly cheap.
Then is a matter of combination and mind your expenses.
The local and most consumed products are actually quite cheap! (pasta, rice, sauces, etc,)
So, if you eat like an Italian, it will be cheaper! (I eat like a vegan Italian).

7 Top attractions in Genova

Genova is an interesting city, easy to walk around, well connected with many other places.
With many points of interest, seaside, beaches, a very interesting historic centre, rich in architecture and art everywhere, many famous museums, bars, parties, but also very close to a possible escape-day in nature, or hiking day…

  • Via Garibaldi, inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites,
    since July 2006.
  • Piazza de Ferrari, the main square of Genoa, situated in the heart of the city between the historical and the modern centre, renowned for its fountain. Known meeting point; and beautiful buildings around!
  • Spianata Castelletto, best views over the city!
  • Genova Harbour: you can spend some time walking around!
  • Eataly: the fancy store where one can find and try the most exotic typical products of Italy!
  • Foccacia and ice cream, everywhere – alike to other Italian cities.
  • Farmers market (local and fresh products)

Daily Trips from Genova

Beautiful seaside places you can easily reach with public transportation (bus and/or train) from Genova. Or even walk, at least until the closest ones!

  • Bocadasse (6,5 km)
  • Nervi (11,9 km)
  • Camogli + San Frutuoso (26 km)
  • Cinque Terra (91 km)

If you have 2-3 days off, the list of places to visit is even bigger, of course, I’d suggest also: Turim, Milan, Bolonha, Firenze – and even Nice (in France)

Is this host for you?

I would recommend this host to any person interested in visiting Genova and North of Italy, experiencing the Italian culture.

  • Travellers in general:
    You will be in an interesting and well-connected city, with a lot to explore by yourself, or with other travellers, you’ll have the opportunity to meet;
  • Vegans/vegetarians:
    A vegan-friendly city. You can find focaccia and vegan ice cream everywhere. What else do you need? Genova offers vegan options in over 31 places (Happy Cow data – but I’m sure many others are not listed yet). Besides that, in supermarkets and health stores you can find all kind of goodies. In the amazing farmer market, one can find all good fruits, veggies and other items. And almost in any bakery, you can get delicious loaves of bread, focaccia, etc
  • Digital nomads/ freelancers:
    If you stay here, you’ll surely have a lot of free time to work in your personal projects, especially in low season, as you will have moments you will only need to be there.

Besides all that, you will see new people every day who you can meet and exchange experiences, contacts, share your work (if you’re a freelancer) etc.

Final words & evaluation about Victoria House

“Great Hostel and Team. The place is very nice, classic, with good ambience and good taste! 
Low season is not very busy, but I enjoy it like that.
The team is not only smiley and friendly but very well organized, relaxed, good in their work and languages-skilled”

This was a very chill-out and relaxed experience, light-schedule…
All the first-agreed conditions were respected. I’d totally recommend this Hostel for volunteers, and guests of course!

Questions? Ask me 

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