Barter your way to a bed in Rome
From 18 to 24 November, travellers balking at the city’s high accommodation costs can pay their way with anything from roller skates to fresh pastries. (Lwnski)
From 18 to 24 November, Barter Week takes place at thousands of participating B&Bs and guesthouses across Italy, including 83 in Rome. Organised by the booking website bed-and-breakfast.it – and inspired by the economic crisis and tourist industry slowdown – the concept is simple. Instead of paying for a stay with cash or credit, guests can trade a good or service.
Although bartering hopefuls can get as creative as they want, many of the B&Bs also suggest trades. The eclectic list includes everything from Coca-Cola memorabilia (a B&B in Modena) to a pedicure (Sardinia), satin sheets (Parma) to lessons in English, yoga, or international cuisine (Florence), traditional Native American clothing (Calabria) to a tea kettle (Tuscany).
For visitors arriving outside of Barter Week, 35 B&Bs in Rome also accept non-cash offers year-round. Owners at B&B La Scalinatella in Rome’s hip Monti neighbourhood say that since their balcony plants died in the summer heat, they will offer a gardener or florist bearing plants free hospitality for three days (normally, double rooms start at 80 euros per night); while the owners of Casa dei Colori, near Rome’s central Termini train station, would like roller skates, bags from the Cambridge Satchel Company, rain gear, organic olive oil or a Lomo camera (if you have none of these, a double starts at 90 euros per night).
To take part, travellers either can contact the B&B of their choice directly, or enter their trade proposal and chosen region through the Barter Week website; interested establishments will get in touch.
Amanda Ruggeri is the Rome Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes revealedrome.com.