Hi, I'm Kathryn,
Last year I moved from the UK to beautiful Lunigiana region in northern Tuscany, Italy where I'm setting up my forever home which I shall also run as a small B&B/rental/retreat.
Most of the major building work in the house has been done over the last three years, but as it's a massive old house it's one of those projects that will never actually finish; there's always something to be done!
The help I would welcome right now is of a practical hands-on nature. I would like to get a few jobs finished and improvements made before guests bookings commence in mid-June.
i would particularly welcome carpentry and/or masonry skills. Also if you are able to turn a hand to a variety of jobs around the home that would be great. DIY but done far, far better....
- making doors/windows watertight and draughtproof and then cleaning them (and oh, I have a lot of windows)
- sanding, treating and re-hanging internal doors
- replacing/refurbishing locks on internal doors
- cleaning/oiling/renovating antique terracotta flooring
- furniture renovation/polishing
- re-pointing some external stonework where rain seems to seep in
- possibly fitting a wooden hand-rail and balustrade to a staircase
Tiling, plumbing and plastering would also be very welcome skills. And a bit of helping me move heavy furniture around....
Please do not think that you can 'learn on the job'. If I knew how to do it well enough to teach you then I would just do it myself. I really need you to be very good. I'm a bit fed up of having to re-do other peoples' work (including the contracted builder) and am now looking to host just quality people who take pride in their work and who can do the job properly once and for all.
If you are serious about helping out then please contact me asap. In return I offer good quality en-suite accommodation in a beautiful historic house, fantastic surroundings and 3 healthy vegetarian/pescatarian meals per day
Given a very unpleasant hosting experience recently i unfortunately feel I have to stress that this is not a free holiday and I am not here to provide you with free accommodation and unlimited food - it is an exchange that is supposed to be mutually beneficial - please only consider me if you have a true workaway mindset and appreciate the culture and spirit that can make workaway so wonderful for both parties. Furthermore this is a non-smoking house, including the grounds, and substance use, abuse or drunkenness will not be tolerated
I will expect any guests to participate in all aspects of communal living and general running of the house, ie cooking & eating together but also tidying up afterwards, taking the rubbish out sometimes etc . I now realise I enjoy this social aspect of hosting and do not like it when guests simply turn up for meal times and then disappear. Naturally, your time off is your own, but if you are in the house I like to feel there's an interaction even if you have 'done your hours'.
The house is in a tiny village (no services on the doorstep but everything (incl great builders' merchants) 10mins drive down the hill) with absolutely beautiful views in all directions. This really is perfect retreat country; if you are in need of clean air, peace, waking up to birdsong and beautiful natural surroundings then you'll love it here. Great for cycling, meditation, walking, riding...
The local train stations/bus stops are about a 45 minute walk away. I am currently without transport so you would need to have your own transport or be prepared to walk from there. Naturally, I would be happy to ask if a neighbour is coming this way but cannot of course guarantee a lift. Also, once I have access to a car again I will happily pick up at the train station but cannot offer that at the time of writing. If you want to explore the local area in depth you would certainly be better with a car/bike/horse or whatever so you can come and go as you please but you may also be happy to bring a book or two and just enjoy relaxing at the house.
Also I should mention as it's such an old house I do have some uneven floors and there are stone steps everywhere so whilst it's great for toning the legs, it's not ideal if you are unsteady on your feet or have reduced mobility. If coming in spring or late autumn bring warm clothes & cosy pyjamas. Bedrooms do not have heating and it gets cold inside but I can supply lovely snug duvets and hot water bottles and there is plenty of hot water for showers.
DIY and building projects
This is a little known area of Tuscany; genuine and authentic - a completely different way of life to even the south of the province. Lots to explore - and within reach of Le Cinque Terre for a day at one of the most stunning coastlines or just relax, and enjoy the stunning natural beauty.
I'm very happy to chat about life in Italy and if you would like to improve your language skills in either English (my mother-tongue) or Italian (not as fluent as I used to be in my youth, but okay), I'm happy to help with that.
Outside: dry stone walling, re-pointing stone walls, helping build bbq/pizza oven in garden, some gardening (create raised beds) all weather permitting,
Inside: sanding/waxing/re-hanging doors, general house maintenance, painting walls, carpentry skills to improve fit of doors and windows, possibly fit timber stair parts to create hand-rail & balustrade. Plumbing to fit toilet and simple washroom facilities in barn.
You will be asked to clean your room and any common areas thoroughly before you go and generally leave everything perfect for someone else, whether that's a guest or another Workawayer, to move in to.
You'll have en-suite accommodation within the house.
I can provide single, twin or king beds.
It is a non-smoking house.
Unfortunately I don't have a car at the time of writing so can't accompany you on day trips or drive you around all day during your time off, but do want you to get to explore and appreciate the area. If you enjoy walking or you're coming on a bike or with your own transport there is so much to get out and see here
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week