travellers balking at Rome’s accommodation costs can pay their way with
anything from a saxophone
lesson to fresh
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
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
sheets (Parma) to lessons
in English, yoga, or international cuisine (Florence), traditional
Native American clothing (Calabria) to a tea
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.