The Dartmouth College Italian program is excited to offer a new and exciting summer internship for our intermediate-to-advanced students!

What is the Azienda Agricola Capofarfa? 

Originally part of the territory of the powerful abbey of Farfa in central Italy, Capofarfa is today a farm that has been growing organic olives and producing olive oil since the early 1600s, under the continuous ownership and management of the Agamennone family. The 200-acre farm produces over 30,000 liters of extra-virgin olive oil per year, and includes various ancient and medieval structures (e.g., a Roman villa, a medieval watchtower) as well as a teaching museum. The overall area in which Capofarfa is located (the province of Rieti in Latium, Italy) has been home to olive groves since ancient Roman times, and the Capofarfa approach to the cultivation of olve trees combines the study of traditional techniques with an attention to the most modern innovations in technology and sustainability. Capofarfa also offers onsite educational programming for schools and universities; thematic seminars in cultural and educational institutes in and around Europe; olive oil tasting courses; workshops and consultations on olive planting, pruning, harvesting, pest control, and product promotion; and research collaborations with the Universities of Viterbo and Rome. (For more information, see

What does the internship consist of?

The internship will take place on the Capofarfa farm, where the intern will acquire hands-on and holistic experience of every aspect of the olive oil making process. Areas that the intern will be involved in include:

  • Operation and management of an olive farm: intentional management of the resources of the territory; daily care and maintenance of a 200-acre olive grove; packaging and delivery of final product; marketing; organization of communication with clients, with an emphasis on virtual communication; reutilization of the byproducts of the olive-oil-making process in the context of renewal/green energy; collaboration with outside partners and institutions on sustainability issues.
  • Pruning and care of the olive tree: learning about traditional and modern pruning techniques and how they are essential for a healthy grove; the phenological cycles and events in the life of an olive tree; pest control; irrigation; other regular maintenance.
  • Olive oil production, from past to present: hands-on survey of the Capofarfa territory and the role of olives in the local agricultural economy; olive farming as seen through the lens of the historical and archeological remains on and around Capofarfa; the evolution of the olive press from pre-Roman to contemporary times; daily operation of a modern olive-pressing facility, in all phases of the process; modern technologies for the extraction of olive oil.
  • Olive oil and health: current research on the links between extra virgin olive oil and disease prevention, with particular attention to a technology recently patented by the Capofarfa farm for increasing the antitumoral properties of EVOO.
  • Olive oil tasting: familiarity with different types and grades of olive oil; tasting sessions dedicated to local, national, and international olive oils; potential defects of olive oils and how to detect and identify them; how to pair olive oil and food.

When does the internship take place?

The 8-10 week-long internship is flexible in terms of length and period of the year. The intern will generally work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.

Who can apply?

The Capofarfa farm internship is open to students who:

▪ study disciplines such as Italian, Environmental Studies and/or Science, Economics, Geography.

▪ have an intermediate or advanced level of spoken Italian, and familiarity with Italian culture. Participants must have completed at least Italian 9 (B1 or B2 level), and preferably also taken part in the LSA+ program and/or upper-level courses in Italian.

▪ possess confident, strong communication skills and an outgoing personality.

▪ are capable of working both independently and as part of a cooperative team.

▪ are flexible, adaptable, and excited to be part of a dynamic environment.

▪ can adjust to basic living accommodations.

How do I apply? 

Please contact Professor Nancy Canepa ( if you have any questions about the internship. When you're ready to apply, submit the following documents:

▪ A personal statement (approx. 500 words, in English) that includes a description of what you hope to gain from this experience, how it is relevant to your education and career goals, and your previous experience(s) in Italy and/or Europe.

▪ A resume

What about funding?

The Capofarfa farm hosts the internship at no cost to the intern, although none of the associated living costs are included. You will be housed either at the farm itself or in Poggio San Lorenzo, the small (pop. 600) town in which Capofarfa is located; the owner of Capofarfa, Marco Agamennone, will assist you in finding housing. You will also have to budget for air travel, insurance, and meals.

Dartmouth funding for international internships is available from the Dickey Center for International Understanding. The Dickey Center offers a maximum of $5000 for international internships, which usually must be at least 8 weeks long in order to qualify for funding. Students must submit a detailed application, complete with budget. Please contact Peter Jenkinson ( for further information or to schedule a meeting to discuss your interest in funding for the internship.