Have you always wanted to explore the Italian countryside but have never had the funds? Well, now is your big chance.
Airbnb will be sending four lucky people on a three-month sabbatical in Italy for free.
Selected participants will be flown to Grottole, a village in Southern Italy, to experience authentic, Italian life while helping to reinvigorate the local community. During the program, they will live like a citizen in the village, immersing themselves in the culture while learning to speak the Italian language and to cook traditional, Italian food.
Participants won’t have to pay for travel expenses or accommodations, receiving Airbnb coupons to stay in apartments such as this one:
They will also receive a €900 monthly expense stipend to help cover everyday costs.
The Italian sabbatical is an effort to revitalize Grottole’s tourism industry, and participants are expected to work with Wonder Grattole, a non-profit agency, to lead experiences or events for visitors during their stay. CNBC explains: “While the award recipients will have responsibilities to contribute to the town and project, they will also have time to relax and enjoy the countryside.”
As mentioned, the village is currently participating in the Airbnb Community Tourism Program which aims to promote sustainable, local tourism. Grattole currently has only 300 residents— while more than 600 of its homes remain empty. In a statement cited by CNBC, Silvio Donadio, co-founder of Wonder Grattole, stated:
“Our dream is to repopulate the historical center.”
“In ten years, we’d like to see the village full of people from different cultures perfectly integrated with the local community.”
During the sabbatical, participants will engage in historical activities, such as learning how to grow produce with handsome gardening expert Andrea…
And making homemade food with Rosa— the best cook in town.
In an official statement cited by CNBC, local Vincenzo (no last name provided) said: “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 new energy to our village, and they must be open to sharing their stories with us. We are good listeners.”
To apply for the sabbatical, go to www.italiansabbatical.com and simply fill out the form. However, be prepared to explain why you want a sabbatical and how you could make a difference by leading workshops or experience events.
The sabbatical will run from June to August 2019. The cut-off for applications is February 17, 2019 at 17:59 EST.
As of January 18th, the company had already received more than 75,000 applications from people around the world.
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How would you like to drop everything and move to Italy for three months? Apply to help revitalize the village of Grottole this summer and experience life the Italian way: italiansabbatical.com
Posted by Airbnb on Tuesday, January 15, 2019