Airbnb Is Sending 4 People to Live in Italy

Jan 15, 2019

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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.”

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.

Feature image courtesy of Airbnb. 

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