The home rental company is sending 4 lucky travelers on a 3-month sabbatical to the small village of Grottole

By Madison Roberts
January 17, 2019 02:36 PM
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If you’ve been looking for a way to take a break from your job and travel the world, Airbnb might have you covered.

The online home rental company recently announced they would be paying four people to take a three-month sabbatical to the Italian village of Grottole in the southern region of Basilicata.

The winners will work with Airbnb, welcoming guests into their new homes as Homes and Experiences host. They’ll receive one month of training from other local experience hosts before they venture out on their own.

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A recent survey conducted by the home-sharing network revealed that nearly 1 in 3 U.S. respondents felt they needed to take a sabbatical to “avoid burnout” and more than half of those surveyed said if given the opportunity, they would use their time away to explore other cultures and meet new people.

The number one factor holding them back from doing just that? They couldn’t afford it.

So Airbnb is partnering with Wonder Grottole, a local group promoting urban regeneration in the village, to cover all of the expenses for four lucky travelers.

“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”, Silvio Donadio, founder of Wonder Grottole, says.

Through the experience, the new temporary citizens of Grottole will offer their guests experiences such as gardening, honey harvesting, cooking classes for local Italian pasta dishes, language lessons, and exploring the countryside by car.

“Italy is an extraordinary country with a strong and vibrant rural community, countless hilltop villages and a passionate and welcoming culture,” Joe Gebbia, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, says. “We want to help preserve these communities so they continue for generations to come. By inspiring and supporting others to get involved and make real contributions to village life, we hope it shines a light on the beauty of rural Italy.”

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Another Italian village is taking a different tact. The town of Sambuca, in Sicily, is currently selling homes for $1 to anyone willing to fix them up.

Interested in taking Airbnb up on their offer? Visit italiansabbatical.com to apply before Feb. 17.

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