Required Travel Documents. Only a valid passport is required to enter Italy, with a maximum stay of 90 days. No visa is required.
Traveling to Metaponto. Volunteers are responsible for the costs and arrangement of their travel from the States to Metaponto and back, including travel to other destinations within Italy. Given that Metaponto is in the far south, for most travelers arriving from North America the best airport destination is Rome's Leonardo da Vinci international airport. Express trains connect the airport to the train station in downtown Rome (Termini), from which originate trains to Metaponto. Train schedules may be consulted, and tickets purchased in advance and on-line at the Italian State Railways website.
Life at Metaponto. ICA provides full room and board for all volunteers in the facilities of the Centro di Agroarcheologia located on the grounds of an experimental farm run by the Region of Basilicata at Pantanello, ca. 3km west of ancient Metapontum. Accommodations are summer-camp style: volunteers sleep on individual twin-size beds in two second-floor bedrooms of a 1950s farmhouse (2 volunteers in the smaller bedroom, 2-3 in the larger master bedroom). Both bedrooms are furnished with nightstands, reading lamps, bookshelves, armoires, and fans. There is a portable radio with CD player, but volunteers are encouraged to bring personal CD or MP3 players with headphones in order not to disturb others. The air-conditioned house has one bathroom (with shower), a kitchen, a large living room, and a large outdoor terrace (covered). All linens (sheets, towels, blankets) are provided by the Centro . The house is regularly cleaned and the linen is regularly washed by a hired housekeeper, who also prepares dinners consisting of local specialties (including many vegetarian dishes). Breakfast and lunch foods (usually simple fare such as cereal, yogurt, bread, and sliced meats and cheeses) are purchased by the expedition staff on a regular basis. Mosquitoes can be troublesome, especially at night, and participants are advised to bring their own mosquito nets or insect repellent. The only expenses which volunteers may incur on a regular basis are incidental purchases, such as personal food or drink items not provided by the expedition (for example, Coca-Cola and alcoholic beverages) and meals or snacks purchased during trips.
The Centro has a library that contains mostly scholarly works on the history and archaeology of southern Italy, as well as a small selection of pulp fiction. The library houses the Centro 's general-use desktop computer, which is equipped with dial-up Internet access; volunteers will be given regular access to it to read and send e-mail, make travel plans and reservations, etc. Printers and a photocopier are available, but any project requiring a printed page should be cleared with one of the field directors before use.
Climate. The south Italian climate in early summer is typically dry and mild, with morning temperatures in the 60s-70s and afternoon highs in the high 80s/low 90s.
Dangerous Creatures. There are only two dangerous creatures in the Metapontino: small brown, poisonous vipers (which usually are found only under rocks) and large brown, venomous spiders that nest in weeds. Both of these are rare sights, but nevertheless caution is advised.
Medical Care. South Italian hospitals have very good emergency rooms that can take care of most medical problems quickly and efficiently. More serious problems can be treated with the help of a local doctor, who can prescribe medications. There are no known viral or bacterial agents in the area, but a clean bill of health and up-to-date immunizations are recommended as a precaution.
Money. Volunteers should bring a small amount of cash to Italy (no more than $200) to handle initial expenses and unforeseen issues. Otherwise, most essential transactions can be handled with credit cards, and cash in euros can be easily obtained with most debit cards issued by American banks.
Gear. Volunteers are expected to bring certain items of personal attire considered essential for surveying, including a hat, over-the-ankle boots, and sunglasses. Other useful items such as sun block, insect repellent, and water bottles can be purchased locally (although volunteers are encouraged to bring their own favorite brands from the States).
The typical daily schedule (M-F) is more or less as follows:
- 6:00-6:30 wake-up and breakfast
- 7:00 departure for the field
- 9:30-10:00 break (cookies, fruit, and water)
- 1:00 return to base for lunch, clean-up, afternoon nap
- 4:00 artifact washing and cataloging, optional educational opportunities
- 6:00+ free time, food shopping
- 8:00 dinner
Weekends are left free so that participants may visit regional sites of interest.