The Italian Ecovillage Network (RIVE), founded in December 1996, links many heterogeneous communities and eco-villages in Italy and actively supports the emergence of new communal projects. Each RIVE member has a specific philosophy, lifestyle and organization, but all are inspired by sustainable living on all levels (ecological, spiritual, socio-cultural and economic). Hence, RIVE fosters and supports the ability of human groups to meet their needs without reducing, but rather improving, the environmental perspectives for present and future generations. Since the early days, the network has grown into a large non-profit association with more than 100 members (including 30 ecovillages and communities), and has become the most important reference in the field of communal living in Italy. The members meet several times per year to share experiences and mutually learn from each other; RIVE organises at least one large national gathering every summer (with an average of 500 participants) to inform the general public on ecovillage-related activities and best practices, offer trainings, support emerging communities and attract new members.