It’s true. There are over a thousand bed and breakfast establishments throughout Italy that are willing to offer you free accommodation. Some of these are in rural villages, some are in well-travelled towns, some are set on sparkling lakes. Others may be by the ocean or in the mountains.
And you can stay with them absolutely free. Is there a catch?
Of course, but it’s only a tiny one. These establishments are all willing to barter with you to arrange your accommodation and they are looking for people who can help them with many and various goods and services.
Here are a few examples:
- Could you give a concert in their establishment?
- Many listings are willing to give you free accommodation in exchange for your secondhand cellphone or tablet
- One B & B is looking for someone to build a garden shed
- Many offer free accommodation in exchange for professional photography
- One listing specifically was looking for clothing for a twelve year old girl and a nine year old boy
- I saw a few that want conversational English lessons
- Several want murals painting on their walls
- Second hand laptops are in great demand
- One was prepared to offer accommodation for an entire season for someone who would take over from the breakfast cook
- Minor carpentry, electrical or gardening work is requested by several properties
- Website work and data entry
- Fruit picking and even gathering lavender
- Several are willing to offer free accommodation in exchange for a secondhand bicycle
- There are several pages of people who are looking to exchange their accommodation for another apartment or room for vacations
- Many B & Bs are offering free accommodation for writers or bloggers who can write about their properties for magazines or travel blogs/websites
- The miscellaneous section shows owners who offer you accommodation for such things as a juice extractor, or for help clearing firewood, or parrots (yes, live parrots) or a luggage rack for a Fort Fiesta…..
There are so many more. As you can see, in some cases you need no specialist skills at all. Some proprietors will barter goods and products – you might have the ‘payment’ for your holiday accommodation hidden in your attic.
The length of time offered for your stay will depend on the value of your services or goods. Some B & Bs offer you a double room for your services so you can take a friend or your partner with you.
Tip! The website is in Italian. If you use Google Chrome, then simply right-click to translate.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.