+++PLEASE only message if you are GENUINELY INTERESTED. Many people contacted us and then never replied back again.+++
Time for a profile overhaul after having hosted quite a few workawayers now.
We are Sonia and Levent and we currently live in Southern Italy, 15 km south of Salerno. We moved to Italy in 2020 with an "open end approach", not knowing how long we might stay or where we might go next. We got a bit stuck here now with 10 + house cats that are the result of our thankfully successful mission of stopping the never ending repopulation of poor unwanted and maltreated stray cats, at least in "our" tiny little corner of Italy.
When we first moved here there were a few dozens of malnourished strays fighting for survival by living off human trash and escaping the many uncaring at best, evil at worst humans (sadly a standard in many South European countries for those who aren't aware). We started feeding them daily and patiently gaining their trust and with the help of an elderly neighbour-friend who herself had done lots of volunteering in her life we managed to get them all sterilised and one by one adopted into for ever homes.
Except of course the ones who simply became our family and will stay with us no matter what :)
So, this is where Workaway came into the picture. We had been hosting people for years through Couchsurfing and one of our Couchsurfers mentioned the platform and that in fact she had been cat sitting in another Italian city. We thought this would be perfect for us in case we have to travel, which can come up quite spontaneously for us for work reasons. So having trustworthy people staying in the house for longer periods is perfect for this and it also gives us peace of mind while we're away. Apart from the cats we also have tortoises but they are not very complicated.
Now then, what will your workaway stay with us look like? There are basically two scenarios:
1. We are away
We never know when and for how long (in terms of days, not weeks) we have to travel abroad. Ideally we want to spend a few days with you to show you everything and to make sure you know the quirks of each cat and all the "security measures" to keep them and our belongings safe :D
While we are away you simply take our role, you live in our house, take care of yourself and do all the cat duties. That means feeding, giving water, cleaning the litter boxes and loads of cuddling and playing. As for the tortoises, the only things that need to be done on a daily basis is turning on the UVB lamps in the morning, turning them off in the evening and making sure they always have food available. Apart from that you are free to do whatever you wish, stay in, go out, go to the beach, visit nearby towns etc...
2. We are home
When we are at home we simply share the house with you, we're happy if you help cleaning the litter boxes and keeping the house "tidy", in inverted commas because the cats have changed the definition of the word :D
You don't need to worry about the feeding and also the tortoises won't be your responsibility. As for the cuddling and playing, our cats love all the attention they can get.
Important things to know about the area and about us:
Location & surroundings:
We live directly by the beach and in between large vegetable fields. It's lovely and idyllic here but beware that there is not much going on around here. The city of Battipaglia is 8 km away and only really reachable by car, Salerno is 15 km away and there are two buses in the morning (one between 7 and 8 and one between 10 and 11) and two buses back (one at 4 pm and one at 8 pm). That being said, we will pick you up by car when you first arrive.
If you're wishing for party nights, buzzing city life or anything like that, you're in the wrong place. If you love nature, aren't easily bored and just want tranquility and peace, this can be the perfect place.
We live in a kind of holiday village which is super crowded in summer but very quiet in all other seasons. There are only two handfuls of people/families living here permanently. The houses themselves are fairly old, so don't expect any luxury. We cook the old fashioned way with a gas stove with a huge gas bottle underneath, we don't have central heating and we don't have Wi-Fi. This is pretty standard in Southern Italy but might be unusual for people from other countries or even from the North of Italy.
We have three bed rooms, one of which, the one downstairs, we turned into a living room, though still with beds which we use as sofas or as emergency beds if we have more than two guests. Upstairs is our bedroom and a guest room with two single beds. The room is small and modest but suitable for guests for a while. We have plenty of bed sheets, blankets, pillows and towels and anything else one could need.
Regarding the lack of Wi-Fi, most people here don't have it in their house because it's rather complicated to install in some areas and it's expensive compared to even unlimited mobile internet. We both rely on our unlimited mobile internet for work and leisure and using a hotspot for the laptop and it works well. If you stay longer we always suggest getting an Italian sim card which is super easy, but also if you need to work from home on your own laptop you can also connect to our hotspot. It just won't be available at night because phones will go to flight mode for undisturbed sleep.
We both lived in the UK for most of our lives but are both only half British. We got married in 2019 and moved to Italy one year later. We are vegan and really love cooking and trying out new things and experimenting in the kitchen. Our cooking styles are fairly different so we certainly cover all types of dishes. Levent is an excellent chef, does amazing burgers, sandwiches and most importantly Turkish specialities. I (Sonia) claim to make better pasta dishes than any Italian, I love cooking Thai or Indian curries and huge vegetable stews and soups. I often cook something separate for myself because I'm hugely into strong spices, while at the same time being totally oil and mostly salt free for health reasons.
Overall we're trying to live as healthy as possible, though we know there's huge room for improvement, for example I have a big weakness for a specific white wine and am lazy as hell when it comes to sports. :D
We are also very conscious about environmental issues and it's been frustrating for us coming here from the UK to see how careless people are in comparison. It has become impossible for us to live plastic free like we did before and in general it's a lot harder to live sustainably here in the bigger picture than elsewhere, but we're trying our best.
Our daily life is rather unspectacular. We get up early and go to bed early and work (from home) and take care of the animals in between. We very rarely go out in the evening, even though we'd like to do it more often.
As for the rest, we're fairly uncomplicated people, we take each day as it comes without expectations, we're calm but also love good conversations and love to hear about other people's life journeys and experiences.
S’occuper des animaux
Aide à la maison
I think animals always teach so so much. When we're not away, we would personally also be around with the workawayer(s). We can teach you a lot about health and nutrition, about "life" in general the way we live it and see it.
Quick summary of the things already explained in the introduction:
- cat feeding
- cleaning litter boxes
- cat cuddling and playing
- keeping the house tidy
- feed tortoises in case we're away
- feed potential outside cats that we haven't "sorted out" yet
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
Languages are one of the most fascinating things to dedicate your time to. Since we're not Italian you won't have that native experience with us, though I am fluent in Italian and Levent has a good starter base. We have very curious neighbours though who are always up for a native conversation with foreigners.
Another quick summary:
- semi-permanent holiday house
- workawayers have a guest room with two single beds
- very secure and quiet area with plenty of nature around
We have heard some not so nice stories from workawayers concerning previous experiences. We do not use this platform to exploit people, make people work for hours on end while being lazy ourselves or anything like that. We think this platform is perfect for our cat vs. travel dilemma and are genuinely interested in the cultural exchange that comes with hosting.
You'll have plenty of "time off", you can go to the cities, which within relatively easy reach apart from Battipaglia and Salerno could be Napoli, Pompei, the towns the Amalfi Coast, Paestum or Agropoli.
Our beach is also really lovely, the water super shallow, sometimes very wavy sometimes calm as a lake.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
As already said we don't have Wi-Fi in the classic sense but can offer a mobile hotspot during the day if needed. Apart from this issue, yes, we can definitely host digital nomads.
Plenty of secure parking space infront of the house
Depends on the pet I would say. Our cats are terrified of any dog, so that wouldn't work without us being there. Another cat would be no problem at all, would probably just take a while for everyone to accept each other :) Or another tortoise 😁
no specific ours, super flexible
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