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

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.

Latest news

Shop closed

Our online shop and telephone sales line are currently closed until further notice due to nationwide COVID-19 restrictions. We will reopen as soon as possible, however at this stage, we are unable to provide any timescales.


New telephone number

Due to recent health and safety measures, our staff is currently working at home. To continue ensuring contact with the public, we have activated the following mobile number:

+39 340 7412578


What we have achieved in 2018 with 5x1000 donations

Your 5X1000 represents an extraordinary contribution every year for Il Rifugio degli Asinelli

In 2018, thanks to the choice made by 2,287 people who signed and...


New Vacancy!

The Donkey Sanctuary is an international animal welfare organisation, offering care and protection to donkeys and mules worldwide. We are working for a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering, and their contribution...

Closed gates at Il Rifugio degli Asinelli

IRDA closes to public due to Coronavirus emergency


Il Rifugio degli Asinelli is currently closed to the public due to the Coronavirus emergency. All events have been cancelled until further...

Zenzero and Mirtillo

If we were to give a prize to the two most playful donkeys of the Rifugio, the winners would undoubtedly be Zenzero and Mirtillo.