Tired of your 9 to 5? You’re in luck.
Airbnb is bringing four travellers on a three-month trip to Italy, where the selected few will spend time “working”. All housing and living expenses (up to roughly $1400 per month) will be covered.
Partnering with a local non-profit, Wonder Grottole, Airbnb is giving these winners a chance to live in the village of Grottole in southern Italy, where they’ll host other visitors and introduce them to their Airbnb homes. The winners will lead visitors through immersive, local experiences such as olive oil production, pasta making and vegetable farming.
No, they don’t need to know the language and we’re not entirely sure how hosts will be any more knowledgeable about Italian customs than the people they're guiding, but presumably they’ll learn something during their time there. On their off days, too, hosts can take cooking and language lessons and “enjoy an aperitivo with the local community”.
The holidays are coming up fast which means it's time to start crafting that perfect Out of Office message. I used to try and be creative with these, but at some point reverted to the classic 'I'm out until X. Email this guy if you need something.' It's not exactly going to put a smile on anyone's face, but it gets the job done.
“Our dream is to repopulate the historical centre,” Silvio Donadio, a co-founder of Wonder Grottole, said in a statement. “In ten years we’d like to see the village full of people from different cultures perfectly integrated with the local community.”
They hope the experience will help revitalise tourism and perhaps even motivate people to move to the small village, which is located around 425km away from Rome. According to Airbnb’s statement, the town has just 300 inhabitants and some 600 empty homes.
Since the contest’s launch, Airbnb has already received some 75,000 applicants, so be sure to get yours in before the deadline on February 18. Contest winners will be announced on March 29, and the sabbatical will take place from June 1 to August 30 this year.
If you want to apply (and you should), enter here.