We exchange room and board for help with many outside tasks

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Location: Ticoli, Italy


The property counts three parts, one is the house-courtyard-lawn-laboratory-patio and above and below, especially on slopes, there are olive groves and little paths among fruit trees, bushes, vegetable gardens and flowerbeds still in the making. Until 8 years ago when I bought, all the land was virtually abandoned and uncultivated. I, with great patience and like a good turtle (tartarughina), slowly try to fix everything, working for the 90% by hand and alone. By myself because we have very little money and cannot afford to pay aid, and by hand because the terrain is steep and unmanageable for tractors or the like.
We do require our helpers to have personal travel insurance. We do not provide any support for obtaining Visas.

Type of help
Gardening; Building; General Maintenance; Help with Eco project; Help in the house; Animal care; Language practice; Other

I usually need help with heavy works, with the cleaning up from weeds in my flowerbeds, with gardening in general, in hoeing (or dig?) the earth, and in various specific jobs, such as building small dry terraces or building objects with wood. In particular, now I need a great deal of help to fence off the property to take out animals that do damage (like a nightmare last year we have been plagued by wild boars (pigs?) and hedgehog). Our dogs will be able to run more, and hopefully we will stop stumbling in some little cute bordering neighbours of land.
It is important helpers are ok to work hard with their hands, like hammering while standing on a stair, hand hoe the vegetable garden, plant trees or build dry stone walls. For example, I could ask the helper:
- to learn how to use a use a whisk to cut the iron nets;
- to clean the small border stream from the wild vegetation;
- to lift the bundles of wood and walk them to the olive grove (at the top of the property);
- to use the shredder (four-stroke) to reduce the wood into small pieces for mulch;
- to move the iron nets and put them in the right place (hammering while standing on a stair !);
- ecc… .
In exchange for 25 hours outside help per week, we offer a cute small semi-independent apartment (with weekly clean linen) and meals. We hope for helpers that are not too picky on food, we cook for all of us and like to eat good food but we try everything. Our last helper was a bit too picky, no vegetables, no fish, no this, no that, no I do not eat, no I eat later ... ufff.
We like helpers to help to fix and share breakfast, lunch and supper with us. If from time to time they can cook, it will be much appreciated but not mandatory.
If they are good at taking pictures that would help me at tracking the working progress !
On top of the 25 hours per week outside help, I will need aid fixing meals and taking the house, the backyard and the lab tidy.

Languages spoken: Italian, English, (Marco speaks also French)

An internal staircase leads to a tine loft on the third floor, with bedroom and bathroom for our guest.
The guests, in addition to daily work, should help to prepare meals and with the clean after (breakfast, lunch and dinner). When it is possible we like to eat together chatting and listening to the news. Guest should help keeping clean and tidy everything around them, in the house and outside. No smoking nor food is allowed in the guest area. On Fridays, magic Eleonora comes to clean everywhere, and guests are kindly asked to leave the third floor in order so that it can be easily cleaned and the linen changed.

What else ...
We are surrounded by nature, the train station in Guidonia is at about 6 km, there is a bus stop at about 2km so you will need to walk (maybe we could find you a bicycle). The train take you down town in Rome in 45 minutes, but before that you need the bus to take you to Guidonia train station or to Tivoli (in 15/20 minutes).

A little more information: Internet access; We have pets; We are smokers; How many helpers can stay? One

Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
I am reasonably good at cooking, so you will be able to learn a bit about italian food. There is a tiny village at about 2 km with a bus stop; a bar/pizzeria and a `piazzetta` where few people meet in the evening. Tivoli (that have two UNESCO sites, Villa d`Este and Villa Adriana) is at 7 km, Rome is at 30 km and the railway is at 6 km. Around us you can have nice walks among field of olive`s trees. We will be glad to teach you some italian and you can borrow some of our many books.

Hours expected
5 hours a day, 5 days a week (the two free days will change weekly with little to any advance, according to what needs doing and usually to be the most raining ones)

Help is needed in Sept and Oct 2018. No shorter staying than two weeks at a time. Long staying - like a month or two - are welcome

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