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Airbnb Is Sending 4 People to Live in Italy

Jan. 15, 2019
3 min read
Airbnb Is Sending 4 People to Live in Italy
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These lucky volunteers will learn how to run an Airbnb in a remote Italian village.

If you’ve ever fantasized about quitting your day job and jetting off to some super scenic locale to live out your dreams of owning a bed and breakfast, well, you’re in luck.

On Tuesday morning, Airbnb announced that it would be sending four lucky volunteers on an all-expense paid three-month sabbatical. Winners will settle down in the Italian village of Grottole to learn how to become Airbnb Home and Experience hosts.

The volunteers chosen for this gig will become integral members of the community in this small village (the population is only 300 people). But they won’t be on their own: Airbnb will connect these travelers with locals, including the resident beekeeper and olive oil producer, who can help them learn how to lead craft workshops.

But why Grottole? Airbnb chose this village with the goal of giving it new life. With more than 600 empty homes currently sitting unused in Grottole, the hope is that introducing Airbnb to the region will help revitalize this town. The volunteers will not only host guests in the city center, but they will also lead "social impact experiences" spanning from (you guessed it) honey harvesting and olive oil production to vegetable farming and pasta making.

All revenue generated from the experiences will be invested back into the city. “Italy is an extraordinary country with a strong and vibrant rural community, countless hilltop villages and a passionate and welcoming culture,” Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia said in a statement. “We want to help preserve these communities so they continue for generations to come ... [and] we hope it shines a light on the beauty of rural Italy.”

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Italy is a perennially popular destination for travelers, and this year is clearly no exception. In addition to it being the focus of Airbnb's sabbatical campaign, it was also recognized as one of the top trending destinations of 2019 by a number of travel companies, including Kayak, Expedia and American Express.

Airbnb is looking for volunteers that possess a number of qualities and skills. Among them? An interest in contributing to village life and the availability to move to Grotolle from June 2019 through August 2019. Volunteers must also be older than 18 and, because the application is open to residents of Mexico, Argentina (except the province of Mendoza), Italy, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Australia, India and Japan and the US. Conversational English is also a requirement.

Sound like your dream come true? Apply to be one of the volunteers at ItalianSabbatical.com. The four volunteers will be announced on March 29 of this year.

If you're not selected, or can't commit to spending three months on holiday in Italy, consider visiting one of the nation's other gorgeous towns instead, such as Matera, Soave or Cinque Valli.

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  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees