Located near the Forest of Soignes, behind the trees, is the charming house where Maria lives with her family. On the outside, the house is imposing yet charming.“I designed and modernized the interior of this unique house myself, to make it feel like our home”, the Airbnb host tells us proudly. Maria also happens to be an architect.
Once we stepped inside, the feeling we had from the outside is confirmed. Indeed, the homemade decoration alongside paintings by her grandmother sets the tone and gives you a strong idea of the welcome that awaits you: a subtle mix of Belgian warmness and Italian conviviality gives the home its warmth.
Originally from Rome, Maria and her family relocated to Brussels ten years ago.
“Previously, we lived in Italy, in Germany and in France. I am definitely a European citizen”, Maria tells us with her kind smile.
A host on Airbnb since January 2017, Maria decided to open the doors of her home for several reasons. One of them is the flexibility her job as an independent architect allows her. “Since I work from home, I am easily available to welcome and advise my guests. I also share some nice moments with them before going back to work!”
Maria is an amazing host
When her children left home to study abroad, two bedrooms became available in her big house, located in Watermael-Boitsfort. “The house suddenly became empty!” she says laughing.
Maria has always been someone with a very open mind and welcoming.
“When a guest spends time here, I enjoy sitting with them and having a chat over coffee and some homemade cake”.
Maria describes herself as a “bon vivant” who “loves sharing”. “I love cooking for instance, we have a pizza oven in the front courtyard that I cannot wait to use when the nice weather comes! Thanks to Airbnb, I have learned many new specialities from different countries. I also share Belgian and Italian ones”.
An enthusiastic and curious host, Maria is always looking to meet new people and share her interests with great generosity. She is part of the association “Le Piccole Canaglie”. “Our aim is to share Italian culture”, she tells us.
For ten years, she designed stage sets for actors. “I love coming down to my studio and working on our sets or imagining how we can recycle old props for our new plays. Piccole Canaglie is about sharing our culture with others but it also gives the opportunity to younger generations who didn’t have the chance to live or grow up in Italy to learn about their Italian heritage, which allows them to be more self-confident!”.
But the best set she has ever designed is the set where she hosts Airbnb guests: her home.