I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for two reasons.
Number one. WORKAWAY is a great way to travel on a budget as long as you don’t mind maybe getting your hands dirty. This was my first time doing WORKAWAY, even though I have done WWOOFing and volunteering in the past.
And two. I was lucky enough to have amazing hosts in an incredibly beautiful part of Italy. After emailing each other for what seemed like an eternity, I finally got to experience my first WORKAWAY stay @BORGO PETROIO.
I had been to Florence before but never really experienced the Tuscan country side. I loved Italy so there was no question on going back to visit this beautiful country for a second time.
When I was looking for hosts I was lucky enough to be contacted by David, who along with his family had been renovating an abandoned Italian farm-house. Over the years along with the help of volunteers from WORKAWAY this farm-house is now a beautiful home and AIR BnB accommodation.
I was so excited to go work on this property. My job was to help in the vege garden, ground maintenance and clean up preparing for coming guests.
David was waiting at the train station to pick me up and drive me out to the place I’d be staying for the next 10 days.
Waking about 7am and heading down to breakfast to start work around 8am. I’d look out my bedroom window and smile at the romantic countryside below. Then off downstairs to first go out and pick strawberries for us to have with our breakfast, then feed the cat and give the dog a bit of a fuss. This was never a chore!
I love working outside so it was not a problem for me to spend the day in the garden. It was even more surreal for me at mid day when the church bells would peal out from the small village below. Sometimes I would just have to pinch myself where I was, a world away from small town New Zealand.
In the afternoon it was free time to spend as we wished, whether it was a bike ride or hike on the farm estate or going and having a dip in the local pool. With the bonus of a cold beer, awesome.
On the Saturday David would make his weekly pilgrimage to Perugia to the markets to by fresh produce. Myself and another workawayer tagged along and roamed around sampling the wonderful food.
We went up into the medieval village of Perugia perched up on the hill and was lucky enough to discover the 600 year anniversary of the town was on with parades and music everywhere, what a bonus! David even encouraged me to go shoe shopping while we where there which was a novelty, as usually men are trying to drag you away from shopping.
On another day we went out the lake at Parco del Colfiorito and took a tour through the old castle which is on the edge of the lake. This area is a major holiday spot for Italians, with family camp grounds dotted around the lake. So it wasn’t a bad thing playing tourist for the day.
Meal times at BORGO PETROIO were awesome. Mainly vegetarian but so yum, and we would all pitch in on the cooking. With local red wine accompanying the meal. Or a good beer; my favorite.
I can honestly say I had the best sleep while staying here in my lovely room and big bed I felt so at peace after spending the day under the Tuscan sun. Totally slept like a baby, and made the most of my private, comfy room as I knew this was going to be one of my last chances of that privacy. Dorm rooms here I come!
Workaway is an amazing opportunity to experience a country from a different point of view, meet local people, experience local food and small town life; if that is what you want.
But remember, work is expected in return for your stay, it is not a free ride.
You’ll make great new friends, and maybe pick up and trick or two of a new trade or a new language, or at least be able to order a beer in a foreign tongue! GIVE IT A GO!
Check out these links for Workaway & the host I stayed with along with my hosts blog……