November 13, 2017
Living la dolce vita is about to get a lot easier: Thanks to an initiative called La Settimana del Baratto—or “Barter Week” in Italy—visitors can get a free stay at thousands of Italian bed and breakfasts by being willing to work for it. Literally. It’s not so much a “wash the dishes” arrangement; rather, interested guests can get matched to B&B hosts looking for specific goods and services. You start by picking a location from the website’s regions menu. Once you’ve chosen a place to stay, you contact the owners with what you’re able to offer in return—think anything from homemade marmaladeor a DVD collection they can’t find, to plumbing services and music lessons. (Another approach involves looking at a B&B’s “wishlist” and contacting them if you have what they’re looking for.)
Running from November 13 to 19, Barter Week has been an annual event since 2009, when it was founded by the Italian B&B bookings site bed-and-breakfast.it. According to officials quoted in The Local Italy, removing payment from the equation returns the focus to “the human aspect of hospitality,” and that by giving the opportunity to travel to those who would normally have trouble affording it, barterers can “take a journey of self-discovery.”
The items that can be “bartered” run the gamut. Consider yourself a lumberjack? You’re most likely a match for Una Casa nel Bosco near the Terme di Genova. Got Bruce Springsteen memorabilia you’re willing to donate? Try Candy’s Room B&B in Pesaro, in the region of Marche. Florence’s Il Palagetto is looking for Japanese guests to teach them the art of origami, while the owners of Palazzo Beau in the UNESCO World Heritagecity of Modica are looking for vintage mirrors.
OKAY, SO NOW I JUST NEED TO GET SOME SKILLS!!
What about you? what can you do??