I know that there are many rumours about Airbnb nowadays. Just yesterday, there was a news report about changing housing policies in Berlin, because quite a large number of Airbnb hosts rented out their apartments to tourists without using the apartments for themselves. They lived outside of Berlin, and only wanted to make a profit. In the end, they caused a rise in property prices and a lack of affordable housing in Berlin. I think the new policy is good, but it should not affect “real” hosts who just want to share their apartments with tourists for some days, or rent out their places while they are on holidays.
I think the idea behind Airbnb is great. Last summer, my boyfriend and I planned a trip to Lake Como, Italy. We didn’t want to stay in a hotel because they are often overpriced and we wanted to get to know people who can tell us more about their lives in Italy.
It didn’t take us a long time until we found the perfect place: a cozy apartment above the village Varenna. We spent lots of time on our balcony and enjoyed the amazing view. One big advantage was that we had our own kitchen. We both love to cook, and it was exciting to buy self-made products from the local supermarket and to try out new recipes.
Our hosts, a South Korean glass artist and a Dutch university professor, were incredible. They provided everything we needed, and invited us for dinner. We exchanged many stories, and learned interesting facts about the lifestyle in North Italy. At day-time, we hiked to the castle of Vezio and a waterfall.
The place was very peaceful, and we never got tired of the stunning views of Lake Como and its sorrounding area.
We did some trips to Varenna, too. It has a stone beach and you can find some restaurants and jewellery shops there. The walk along Varenna’s “Passeggiata deglie Innamorati” (Lovers’ Walkway) was very nice, but it can get very crowded.
We went to the nearby villages Bellaggio and Menaggio via ferry. Both places are bigger, and offer more restaurants and shops for tourists. However, we prefered the local atmosphere of our small Italian village Perledo in the middle of mountains.