L’Ovile operates in the social assistance sector providing domiciliary care services to disadvantaged people (mentally disabled, convicts) and carrying out language and cultural mediation addressed to migrants. Moreover, it also develops educational projects in the field of sustainability and manages the mountain refuge “Rifugio della Pietra” located in the area of Pietra di Bismantova. In addition to that, the cooperative manages activities aimed at work inclusion of disadvantaged workers, such as physically, mentally and sensorially disabled, drug-addicted, convicts, migrants with a low knowledge of Italian language, victims of human trafficking. Fouded in 1993, L’Ovile is based in Reggio Emilia (Italy), but deeply rooted in the whole province of Reggio Emilia, in Emilia-Romagna Region. L’Ovile involves today more than 170 employees (60% with certified disadvantage, according to the Italian rules), working in several activities: waste collection, assembling activities, cleaning sector, agricultural sector, natural cosmetics.
Pietra di Bismantova is particularly interesting from the archelogical and naturalistic point of view. Classified as a Site of Community Interest in the Natura 2000 Network, it is included in the National Park of the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano. At the feet of the cliff stands the Hermitage, built around 1400. For many years inhabited by Benedictine monks, it is now a shrine of the Diocese of Reggio and Guastalla . The hermitage is a place of religious pilgrimage;the rock is also well known by those who practice sport climbing. Rifugio della Pietra is placed in a strategic position which allows to address several targets: all the visitors of the cliff, whether they are tourists, families, groups, school classes, pilgrims, athletes, inhabitants of the territory. The refuge belongs to the Diocese of Reggio Emilia and L’Ovile invested in the start-up of the structure with the aim of making it a center of socio- economic aggregation for the local community and at the same time attractive for tourists. Pietra of Bismantova is a symbol of the territory and of its typical products (food, wine, handcrafts). The Appennin of Reggio Emilia has a strategic position, connecting different Italian regions and connecting mountain with plain and sea.
How we promote cooperatives’ values and culture
L’Ovile proposes its tourist services within a wider network of several cooperatives of the territory, usually run by inhabitants and local groups. The idea is to create a qualified network of tourism organizations representing local skills and competences.The organizations involved are mainly cooperatives, strictly connected with the local community. With reference to the cultural heritage, the network values the community dimension and promotes local typical productions, sport, cultural roots, education, trekking, etc. The community tourism develops the tradition of cooperation, which in Reggio Emilia has a long history, but it suggests also an innovative development path where the cooperative embodies the whole community, the whole village. The mountain area is the best place to experiment the community cooperative, in order to promote a form of responsible tourism and support the local sustainable development. The presence of L’Ovile ensures competences in the field of work integration, combining the opportunity for the whole community with the opportunity for its most disadvantaged groups. By managing Rifugio della Pietra, L'Ovile is able to provide added value and a clear identity, not only at the refuge, but to the stone itself and the wider territory.
Car (good road connection)
Facilities for Disabled people
The refuge is accessible to people with physical disability.