Airbnb Wants to Pay You to Move to the Italian Countryside

italian countryside
credit: Airbnb

Have you ever wanted to drop everything, pack your bags, and become a beekeeper in the Italian countryside? OK, maybe your "get away from it all" scenario doesn't quite include that last bit. But maybe it should, as it could very much become a reality. Airbnb's latest promotion will send four lucky individuals to the village of Grottole in southern Italy for the summer, where they'll learn about all aspects of rural Italian life, including beekeeping!

beekeeper in yellow suit with beehive
credit: Airbnb

Dubbed the Italian Sabbatical, the dreamy opportunity provides the lucky travelers a three-month stay in an Airbnb in Grottole, whose economy is suffering due to a declining population. It's a phenomenon common across Italy, as younger generations are moving to the big cities, where there are more jobs and, typically, more excitement. In Grottole, specifically, there are only 300 people left in the village, with more than 600 houses vacant.

As an Airbnb traveler, your job will be to help revitalize the economy through volunteering at the local nonprofit Wonder Grottole, whose goal is to boost tourism to the village, as well as serve as an Airbnb host.

In return for your good deeds, Airbnb will pay for your travel to and from the village, offer free accommodations in a quintessential Italian house, and give you a stipend up to 900 euros each month for expenses. Plus, to prep for your volunteer work, you'll spend a month learning Italian and working alongside locals, including the following:

  • Rosa, a cook
  • Vincenzo, an olive oil maker
  • Andrea, the founder of Wonder Grottole
  • Rocco, a hairstylist, saffron producer, and beekeeper
Grottole, Italy
credit: Airbnb

The catch? Well, there really isn't one, unless you count the potential lack of air conditioning in your house. So throw in your hat and apply here before the deadline of 11:59 p.m. EST on February 17! (Just be sure to check that you fit all the requirements before doing so.)


Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.