Ever dreamed of living in Italy? Airbnb is giving four lucky individuals the chance to spend three months living the Italian dream in a southern Italian village. As part of the Italian Sabbatical, participants will spend the summer immersing themselves in small-town life in Grottole. This village with just 300 inhabitants—and over 600 empty homes—will play host to its guests, who will learn the language and local culture during their sojourn.
In collaboration with Wonder Grottole, a local NGO that promotes urban regeneration, the program is looking for four people to volunteer as Experience and Home hosts for three months. By transforming from tourists into temporary citizens, the sabbatical participants will help breath new life into the village and become ambassadors for local culture.
Along the way, they'll have the support of locals, who will open their doors and share their skills. Whether helping tend to the community garden—and then cooking a delicious meal from the harvest—or learning how to make olive oil, this is an unparalleled chance to experience a true slice of rural Italy.
“Italy is an extraordinary country with a strong and vibrant rural community, countless hilltop villages and a passionate and welcoming culture,” shared Joe Gebbia, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer. “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.”
Applications are open until February 17, 2019 at 11:59 pm CET. Interested parties can apply via the Italian Sabbatical website, where they'll be asked a series of questions about why they're a good fit for the position. All applicants must be over 18 years old, speak good English, have a valid passport, and be a resident of one of the following countries: U.S., Mexico, Argentina (except for the province of Mendoza), Italy, U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Australia, India, or Japan.
After narrowing the field to 30 applicants (who will go through several rounds of interviews), the finalists will be notified about whether or not they've been selected in late March. The all-expenses-paid sabbatical then runs from June 1 to August 30, 2019.