Buon giorno, Italy!: Airbnb’s idyllic summer vacation giveaway [Video]

by | Jan 31, 2019 | General News

Airbnb will offer four lucky souls the chance to live in rural Italy for three months in the name of promoting sustainable tourism

Airbnb is going back to its roots and giving four people the opportunity to immerse themselves completely in a new destination over three months during the summer. Four lucky people will be chosen to live in a remote village in Italy, getting to know the locals and learning all about the food, culture and heritage of Italy in the process. We find out more.

Local collaboration

Airbnb has teamed up with Wonder Grottole, a local non-profit based in the rural village of Grottole in southern Italy, to give four people the chance to spend the summer in this idyllic Italian town.

Applicants for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can enter through Airbnb’s Italian Sabbatical website, which asks a number of questions based on your motives for wanting to stay in Grottole for the summer and how you could contribute to the community.

The initiative is part of a strategy to revitalise the stagnating town of Grottole, whose population is dwindling at around 300 people, and whose historic centre is lifeless, with around 600 vacant buildings creating a sadness around this unique town.

The initiative is also part of a wider strategy that Airbnb is undertaking in southern Italy to rejuvenate its tourism industry. Airbnb awarded its Airbnb Community Tourism Programme to the Basilicata region in the south of the country, which aims to support sustainable tourism.

A statement from AirBnB said, “At Airbnb, we believe that when travel is unique, authentic and local, everyone benefits. We know some of the best experiences are found beyond tourist hotspots — in the communities local residents call home.”


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A summer in Grottle

Silvio Donadio, one of Wonder Grottole’s founders, says, “Our dream is to repopulate the historical centre. In ten years, we’d like to see the village full of people from different cultures perfectly integrated with the local community.”

The successful applicants will live in Grottole for three months, volunteer with Wonder Grottole, learn to speak Italian, take cookery lessons, help out with community projects and eventually act as Airbnb hosts themselves, bringing guests on specially curated Airbnb experiences in the town.

The selected applicants will live in different accommodation across the town, and all of their expenses to and from Grottole will be paid for by Airbnb.

As experience leaders, they will give visitors to Grottole the opportunity to participate in some of the daily activities of the town, one of which is the production of olive oil.

Vincenzo, a local producer of olive oil, says, “Visitors coming to Grottole will live in a quiet place, with slow living. There’s no traffic, no chaos, no pollution, good food and above all welcoming people. People from abroad will bring a new energy to our village and they must be open to sharing their stories with us. We are good listeners.”

Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway in Italy:

Swiss-Belresort Evergreen Garden Village 


Belmond Castello di Casole 

Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti


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