A hideaway requiring discreet facelift in a small village, Zubiena in Northern Italy



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Hi, I'm a South African and live in a house in a small village in northern Italy that I'm trying to upkeep; unfortunately some tasks are too large for just one person. Looking for people who enjoy working outside, can turn their hand to DIY and are interested in house maintenance projects... but also with the opportunity to enjoy nature, hiking trails on the Biella Alps and experience old authentic Italian villages only a short distance away.

    There is a relaxing garden and gazebo available for socializing, playing chess, Uno, eating meals, barbecues and suntanning. The garden is bee and bird friendly with many resident birds. also wake up to the birds singing in the morning.

    I enjoy reusing, repurposing, refurbishing and recycling. I'm a conscience conservative user of the planet's resources, and I get on well with people who are orderly and respectful of other people's property. l like practical solutions but with an artistic flair. I used to be a fashion designer and discovered that woodworking uses the same concepts and iapproaches..designing and fitting various elements together. At the moment I also have a fascination with using concrete creatively.... so I'm looking for independent, practical and creative thinkers.

    Small grocery store, chemist, bar and pizzeria @ 200m. Banking, post office, supermarket, other amenities @3 km
    Bus stop into town for sight seeing practically on the doorstep.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Art project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Garden maintenance, weeding, pruning, lawn maintenance, collecting rain water.
    Making mortar/ concrete, adding pigment, designing and manipulating edges ,incorporating an artistic element like pebble mosaics.
    Learning anything is possible if you have the imagination and determination to see it through to the end.
    Stunning mountains and trails a bus ride away.
    Oropa is a world known pilgrimage sanctuary that venerates a black virgin Mary.
    Take a cable car to the top of Monte Mucrone or enjoy a good 3 hr hike and other hiking trails.
    Lake Mucrone and Monte Camino is only a bus ride away from Biella
    Piedicavallo is an ancient mountain village,
    Bus connects to the train station (30 min) which has frequent trains to Milan and Torino.

  • Help


    The garden is beautiful at this time of the year, but of course this means trimming, weeding and watering, wiping the dust off outside furniture. There is always general maintenance gardening to do which can be quite therapeutic and is quite easy.

    AUGUST/SEPT: I'm planning on installing a concrete low maintenance solution at the bottom of my garden. I'm verrrrrry
    excited about this creative art project. Have a look at the photo I uploaded to get an idea of what I have
    planned. (we started this project 21.07 and will continue through the whole of August/ September) This will include: levelling of the ground, making the forms, adding pigment to the concrete, stamping them to look like real stone, then applying a sealer.... and most exciting including a pebble mosaic.

    Making homemade garden edging stones with concrete in homemade mould to retain mulch.

    Installing synthetic lawn in a weed problem area of the garden.

    SEPT/OCT: I plan to replace my wooden walkway with a practical pigmented concrete solution, possibly incorporating a
    pebble mosaic along the edge

    OCTOBER: Rendering and painting repair to the house,( Update:second section of rendering completed successfully)

    The work might be physically hard for some, yet diversified with stimulating learning possibilities for anyone who might need to maintain a house in the future . Minimum stay 2 weeks, long stays might also be an option. Temperatures rise in summer, up to 34C and more, so please bring hat, sunscreen, mosquito cream and work clothes. I provide all protective gear i.e. gloves, masks, safety glasses. You won't need to operate any machinery if you don't want to. except maybe a lawnmower.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Italian and some Afrikaans

  • Accommodation


    The train/bus connection to my house is really easy. I also only receive workaways from Monday - Saturday. I'll send you a simplified bus time table with clear instructions so you can plan your arrival and not have to wait around. Anyway you'll have my phone number in case there are any surprises along the way, and of course it helps to download an offline google map of the area. I'm pinned on google.

    1 bachelor pad with en suite bathroom. Wood burning stove and under floor heating for the colder months - Independent Accommodation
    1 room with double bed and en suite bathroom – Wood Heated in colder months In the main house.
    Can separate bed if you are travelling alone.

    Cleaning and cooking are not high on my list of enjoyable activities , so please clean up after yourselves and perhaps organise communal meals with the provisions on hand. (Actually we have been cooking communally and making tasty vegan meals, everybody contributes in some way) I mostly eat and provide food for a plant based diet.
    Please smoke freely in the garden.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I love learning new skills so please avail your brain to be picked. If you know how to weld or render walls, I'll be a very keen apprentice. There is a woodworking workshop with handy tools to facilitate many tasks.
    A Family member has an organic farm not far away, so a good supply of free range eggs and vegetables are available when in season. We often juice vegetables so join us If you'd like to detox or just bump up your daily vitamin intake. A visit or spending a few days at the organic, self sustaining farm (Also part of Workaway) can be arranged if this is something you'd enjoy.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Independent flatlet for two
2nd bedroom with en suite bathroom
The finished mow strip
My proposed concrete art project for the garden
Finally finished! Thank you everybody that contributed to my garden mosai project
My new waterproof roof almost finished
Synthetic lawn installed in problem area
First venture into Homemade bread by Ottavio
All those fresh vegetables for cooking and juicing.

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.6)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 134353425774