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Help me with some light renovation and painting at my home in San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Italy

  • Favourited 87 times
  • Last activity: 4 Apr 2024



 Min stay requested: 1 week or less



  • Description


    I am retired from marketing and a keen motorcyclist. I studied fine art in Toronto, Ontario but am British and live in East Sussex. My passion is property renovation and interior design, reading and discussions in the evening by the fire with red wine. And, of course, travel. I speak English and reasonable German with a bad Bavarian accent. I have always loved Italy and for 30 years wished to learn Italiano. But I am a slow learner and find Latin-based languages difficult.

    I bought a 4 bedroom, 200 year old stone house in Italy exactly half way between Bologna and Firenza (Florence) in the fabulous Apennine mountains. The house will comprise 4 en suite bedrooms, a large 'sala' with fireplace, a medieval-style kitchen, a cantina (basement) that already has a useable washer and drier and an old stone art studio across the narrow road from the front door. The house will be in the rennaisance style (more or less) and is coming along nicely as accomodation for bikers wanting to stay for the motorcycle races in Italy and hikers/ramblers.

    There is a lot of history around my place and fabulous Italian towns and cities are accessible by car, train, and motorcycle. A fabulous outdoor swimming pool/restaurant/bar is just up the road from me.

    The locals are very friendly and helpful and a few speak English (which they love to practice) so I have made friends easily and you will too.

    I will be there from April until October 2020 working to get at least 3 bedrooms finished.

    I would like assistance 4 hours per day (either morning or afternoon as suits yourself) with almost all aspects of home renovating with the emphasis on preparation and painting. Nothing too heavy as all that work has been done. I would ask for help with meals too as I am no TV chef. But how hard can pasta be? (DO NOT say that to my Italian friends!) Perhaps some online historic architectural/design research for design ideas .

    I can offer a private room with wifi, en suite (all rooms will have en suite bathrooms), washer/drier laundry room and collection from Bologna airport or the train station, and transport to shopping and the local town (a 20 minute walk) and meals/drinks.

    I don't stress over what gets done, or time off if you wish to see things, as I like a laid-back life and good ideas/inspiration above hectic building. I want to build a mini-palazzo over years, not some 1960's council house in 6 months. You do not need to feel you must spend time with me beyond work as I am very happy to read or design or go for wood-stove pizza with my friends. Of course you are welcome to join us!

    If you wish to help with a friend there will be no problem to accomodate both of you.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Language practice
    Art Projects
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I assume that, like me, they want to learn more about Italian language, food, history, art, architecture, sports and possibly technology as I am very close to Ducati, Lamborghini and Ferrari. If so, we share common interests!
    If British then we can share the Italian experience at our local town Piazza and they can see many historical sites
    If German we can communicate in Deutsch (Tadesco) and enjoy the same interests.
    If Italian, I can help your English and you can make sure the pasta is OK!

    Of course all can benefit from real contact with local people and catch the atmosphere in the town bars as we watch MotoGP racing, F1 or Bologna football club lose again.

    I love science, history and art so all subjects being studied can be enjoyed in discussions and sharing sources.

  • Help


    Basic skills any girl or lad can handle. Sanding, painting, help carrying furniture, holding a lamp or piece of wood, fetching tools, sorting an electronic timer, all easy stuff.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    I have 4 bedrooms on the top 2 floors. I stay on the top floor so there are 2 bedrooms available on the second floor and each will have 2 single beds (a double is possible) and its own shower/toilet/wash basin en suite. Total privacy with wifi thrown in.
    Food: Pretty much suit yourself. I have a coffee in the morning and any type of food except garlic between 7-9pm.
    I can shop or you can shop or we can shop. I'll get the food and some drinks in, I can cook the evening meal but would like someone who likes to cook. The kitchen is not finished but the temporary one functions just fine with a counter-top halogen oven, a 2 burner gas camp stove, a large double sink with fabulous cold mountain water, a fridge/freezer, a wood burning stove and some storage cupboards.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Where to start. Fabulous area for hiking with buses in town. I would need to run you to the station for trains or Bologna airport 1/2 hour away. No problem. A hike up the mountain road to the ancient Roman road, Futa Pass and the canyons, Florence, Pisa, Luca, who needs more?

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 831669833125

Feedback (4)



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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.3)

Communication: (4.8)