Small Villages: Mayor Bigiotti of Civita di Bagnoregio joins the Airbnb host community

A Mayor became an Airbnb host for the first time this week as he listed the first public building on the platform. The space is called “Casa d’Artista” (“Home of the Artist”) and is a historically significant building in the town of Civita di Bagnoregio in Viterbo Province.

The building has been left vacant for some time and has now been lovingly restored thanks to a new partnership between Airbnb and the Mayor of Civita di Bagnoregio, Francesco Bigiotti. The space will host artists who can set up residence and art-lovers from all over the world. All proceeds made from the listing will be used to fund the town’s development — from supporting “Casa d’Artista’s” maintenance through to funding other cultural projects in the community. The listing will help the Municipality to create a system of self-sufficiency.

Airbnb is supporting this project to help promote tourism in small villages in Italy, a model that will be replicable in other villages, towns and cities in Italy. The Ministry of Culture declared 2017 the year of “Small Villages” in Italy and Airbnb is doing its part to support this campaign.

“This project is an incredible extension of our commitment to supporting rural villages around the world,” said Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb. “Our aim is to celebrate the heritage of these areas through art and design, while providing concrete ways for the towns to sustain their cultures and traditions.”

Civita, one of the most charming small villages in Italy

The remote village of Civita has been a source of inspiration for many — including the Academy-award winning feature film, “The Enchanted City” by Hayao Miyazaki, and is now in the running for the title of “World Heritage Site”. It’s a one of a kind place. Also known as “the dying city”, for its geographical isolation as a result of the progressive erosion of the tufo hill. The small village, that inhabits around ten residents, connected to the surrounding area by a 1KM bridge suspended at a height of 70 meters — giving the village a charming feel.

The first artist’s residency

The first artist in residence is Francesco Simeti with his installation, ‘Plunged into Gullies, Entangled in Orchids, 2017’ which has been installed ahead of Casa d’Artista’s opening. The residency project, curated by Federica Sala, picked the New York-based artist from Palermo because his work embraces and conveys the complexity of the location. The artist has shaped his work during his residency in October, focusing on the curves of the erosion and on the wild orchids found in the valley.  

The redevelopment project

The interior design was curated by the architect studio DWA. The studio was able to merge the footprint of the house’s history with today’s need to retrace our connection with the past. Many design pieces have been masterfully combined with the house’s remote and isolated location and have been provided by renowned designers such as Kvadrat, Bitossi, Mariotti Fulget, Servomuto, Eligo and Cassina. There’s also been opportunity for emerging designers to be involved in this unique project. Designers such as Ambra and Maria Laura, from the Source Design network in Florence: their creative wall hanger MODO is also on display in the home.

Immerse yourself in the full beauty and artistic history of Civita di Bagnoregio by booking Casa d’Artista for yourself. This unique space is available for you to book here.

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