Our inspiration is San Patrignano, the largest – and widely considered one of the finest – drug rehabilitation centres in the world, located just outside Rimini in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
Jessica Allen, The Globe & Mail, November 12, 2008
… San Patrignano’s working ideology also scores enthusiastic reviews. The idea is simple: Teach young people dealing with addiction how to work hard, be responsible, and take pride in producing something of the highest rank, and you help build their self-esteem. San Patrignano founder Vincenzo Muccioli believed that with that kind of positive work ethic, these ragazzi, as they are known, stand a good chance of integrating into society.
In 1978, Mr. Muccioli and 20 volunteers started to build San Patrignano’s community on 250 inherited hectares. Today, members are fed, housed and provided with legal, medical and psychological attention.
They can even complete a university degree.
During their three- to four-year stay, members of the 1,800-strong community don’t just make wine: The ragazzi choose from about 50 trades, from horse training to graphic design, taught by industry experts, most of whom volunteer their time.
Remarkably, it’s all free of charge, and not funded by the government. San Patrignano is able to generate €13-million (almost $20-million) annually, roughly half of its operating costs, by selling its homemade wares. The other half is obtained through donations.