Emmaus Europe


Emmaus in Italy

Emmaus has had a presence in Italy since 1962 and the movement now has 16 member groups in the country. The number of groups is on the rise in the country, as is the number of sales areas. All the Italian groups are structured as “classic” Emmaus communities and they regularly speak out on important social matters, notably on issues relating to migration. The groups in the country benefit from the support of the national organisation, Emmaus Italy.


In late 1960 a group of young Catholics who refused traditional charity-giving, decided to live with poor people who were subsisting on their salvaging work. In December 1962, one of them, Vincenzo Benciolini, came back from France where he had spent several months living with various Emmaus communities. He then set up a rag-pickers community in Verona. In 1967 24 towns in the north of Italy hosted Emmaus International work camps, contributing towards the development of Emmaus in Italy.

Main Activities

  • Welcome, providing accommodation, reintegration
  • Collecting, reusing, recycling and selling on objects
  • Political campaigning and awareness raising
  • Local, european and international solidarity initiatives

Secondary Activities

  • Home collection service
  • Fixing objects, upcycling
  • Training about important social matters (migration, the mafia, human trafficking, etc.)


via Castelnuovo 21/b
59100 Prato (PO)

+39 (0)6 978 400 86

+39 (0)6 976 587 77


Check out their website


Key numbers

16 member groups

27 sales areas

200 companions

300 volunteers

16 Local groups
Click to see more information about a group



Marie Balseca
National delegate for Italy in 2020

The Challenges in Italy

“Both throughout the year and at the summer camp events Emmaus Italy leads training and awareness-raising initiatives on important social matters: migration, the mafia, human trafficking, etc. Emmaus Italy also supports the Mediterranea operation of maritime rescue. This operation is aimed at showing solidarity to migrants in the Mediterranean and at denouncing the migration policies led by various governments all across Europe.”

With pictures

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Arrivals in Lampedusa

Following the arrival of a record number of people on the move in Lampedusa, civil society, including Emmaus Europe, expresses in a statement its deep concern at the security response of European states, the crisis of reception, and reaffirms its solidarity with people on the move arriving in Europe.

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Defending human rights / Migration 


The Balkan Route – supporting the Emmaus groups

A discussion with Maria Luisa Testori, the leader of the Italian community Emmaus Erba, and a Councellor of Emmaus International. She tells us about the campaign launched in Italy to support the initiatives run by Emmaus in Bosnia along the Balkan Route.

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Defending human rights / Migration 


Emmaus Catanzaro : a capsule collection of a sustainable, activism-focused form of fashion

The Italian group Catanzaro has started to work in fashion but not just any old type of fashion! The group is, of course, avoiding fast fashion and uniformity, promoting instead a sustainable, activism-focused capsule collection that is fully aligned with the values of the Emmaus movement.

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Circular economy / The environment 


Emmaus Italy: training for young activists

Since 2015 Emmaus Italy has been running a training course in non-violence, this course focuses on peace, on how to resolve conflicts and on the values promoted by Abbé Pierre and by Emmaus.

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Defending human rights / Migration