Every year, something magical happens for one week in Italy. Bed and breakfast owners open their doors and let people stay for free — if they’ve got something to offer in return.
This year, Italy’s Barter Week takes place from November 13 to 19. In exchange for a free stay, B&B owners seek a service or unique product. Some are fairly straightforward — like translation services or maintenance work — while others are a bit more unusual, like a collection of Bruce Springsteen memorabilia.
No matter your skill or collection, these are just a few of the fabulous places in Italy where you could be staying for free next month.
Learn to Farm in Brescia
Guests at Agriturismo MACESINA can learn about the agriculture of Italy firsthand by touring vineyards, cultivating crops on the “educational farm,” or visiting the grindstone where they make flour. The B&B is open for barter proposals all year.
Tend the Gardens of a Florentine villa
This bed and breakfast (less than two miles outside of Florence) will host anybody who can provide lumberjack or gardening services. The property includes an old mill, barn, wine fermentation room, and a chapel with frescoes that date back to the 1700s.
Photograph a Penthouse in Naples
Anybody who can offer this bed and breakfast photography services will be able to score free accommodations in a penthouse in the center of Naples. Each room has a terrace, many with outdoor gardens and unobstructed views of Vesuvius.
Take Your Talents to the Tuscan Coast
Wake up and have your morning coffee on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. Il Poggio Fiorito is open to bartering proposals all year round, so put your most unique skill forward. It’s located in the town of Pietrasanta, known as “Small Athens,” for the high number of artisans who work in marble there.
Make Wine in Chianti
The Ancora Del Chianti was once a former farmhouse that produced the region’s famous wine. Today it’s a full-time bed and breakfast, although it’s still surrounded by hundreds of meters of vineyard. One of the B&B’s hosts works full-time to produce wine and olive oil from the surrounding fields, meaning you’ll get a great understanding of the area’s agriculture.