Help us to protect donkeys and mules


Join the adoption family and you'll have a friend for life


A unique way to support our ongoing work


Provide a home to a pair of donkeys

Welcome to our family

We are delighted that you have decided to visit Il Rifugio degli Asinelli and that you share our love and compassion for donkeys and mules, such gentle and affectionate creatures. Our work is funded entirely by donations and legacy gifts. Your kindness and generosity will help us to care and protect one of the world’s most hard working and humble creatures and help enrich so many lives... for that we are truly grateful.

Donkeys at heart

Il Rifugio degli Asinelli was established in 2006 and is a subsidiary of The Donkey Sanctuary, UK founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. It is only through her amazing devotion to donkeys and hard work that the Sanctuary grew to the international charity it is today. Over 50 million donkeys and mules exist in the world. Many need care and protection from a life of suffering and neglect, whilst others have a vital role to play in human survival and happiness; they are at the heart of everything we do here at Il Rifugio degli Asinelli.


You came from all over Italy: hundreds and hundreds of kilometres, with the love for the donkey as the most precious guide.

On Sunday 24th August 2014 Il Rifugio turns 5 and will hold a special day to celebrate this important event:

It's time to celebrate: on Sunday 24th August 2014 Il Rifugio is having a big birthday party and every donkey lovers is invited.

It's playtime for the mules and hinnies living here at Il Rifugio.

Dear donkey friends, even in August our Rifugio will be open daily 10am-6.30pm.