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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.

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.


Little Viola wearing supports

Viola wears supports to walk into future

There's no peace for little Viola. While she's finally started to gain weight regularly, thanks to bottle-feeding and special food, new ailments appeared. Because of rickets and a...

A close-up of our gentle giant Ardito

5 lessons from Ardito we'll treasure in 2017

One of the most heartwarming stories this year was gentle giant Ardito's rescue: now we want to share with you 5 lessons we've learnt from him and that we will treasure...

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017 from Il Rifugio degli Asinelli

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017!

Can you hear this bray? It comes from Viola, Ardito, Vincenzino and all the 146 donkeys living at our Rifugio degli Asinelli: all of them want to thank you for your support and wish you a...

Coquette and Comptesse inside their stable

Comptesse & Coquette: two friends' tale

Comptesse is one of our granny-donkeys: white, elegant, sweet, she knows how to enter the heart of every visitor.

Last week, during our daily checks, the grooms at...

Our elderly guests under the snow

Under the snow!

First snow of the season this morning at our Rifugio!

Some prefer to watch it from the warm stable, some keep on eating, some - like our big horse Sogno, the oldest guest at our shelter, enjoys it until the very last...

2017 calendar is available in two sizes: wall and desk

How to order your copy of 2017 calendar

Dear donkeyt friends, for 2017 our calendar doubles and is available in 2 sizes: wall calendar and desk calendar.

But it's not only size which changes: pictures are different...