How does summer in Italy sound? Pretty good right?! What if it didn’t cost you a thing?
Airbnb is sending four people to live in a small town in Southern Italy this summer, and if you are chosen, they will pick up the costs!
For those not familiar, Airbnb is an online service that mainly allows homeowners around the world to list and rent out their entire property, or just one bedroom, to other members. Airbnb does not own the properties, but receives commissions from the bookings. This service has had a huge impact, both positively and negatively, on lodging worldwide.
The Italian Sabbatical is a program sponsored by Airbnb that will send four people to live in Grottole, Italy for three months from June to August 2019. The goal is to help revitalize the small rural town in danger of fading away into history.
Located in the arch of Italy’s “boot”, Grottole has seen its population dwindle to 300 residents, as many have left over the years for larger cities and more economic opportunity, leaving a staggering number of empty homes, with that number at around 600.
Airbnb has teamed up with a local non profit called Wonder Grottole, who’s mission is to revitalize and re-populate the village. The four people chosen from submitted applications, will reside in an Airbnb and work for Wonder Grottole. You can check out one of the participating Airbnb properties here.
The chosen applicants will be expected to immerse themselves in the local culture, and will host visitors and direct events in local traditions like olive oil production, pasta making, honey harvesting, and vegetable farming. Any proceeds from these events will be invested back into Wonder Grottole.
Travel expenses to and from Grottole will be covered by Airbnb, as well as up to around $1,000 per month in living expenses, and although you will be expected to engage with residents and visitors as you help with community events, there will be plenty of personal time for you to relax and enjoy the Italian countryside.
This sounds pretty amazing! It could be a chance to realize your dreams and change your life! If it sounds like your thing, be sure to apply by February 17. You can check out the rules and fill out an application here. Winners will be announced on March 29th. Good Luck!