Discover home exchange with stories from our members.
Experience home exchange with Mike and his wife as they stay in the city of Proceno, Italy and explore the Lazio region of Italy.
1. Where did you go on home exchange?
2. How did you choose your destination and home exchange?
We have traveled in Europe every year for the last 25 years. We felt it was time to explore regions off the beaten path of mainstream tourist destinations.
3. What was the conversation like with your host?
Our host Ruth and her husband were excited about GuesttoGuest and meeting new people.
4. Your arrival: How was the house? Did you meet your host? Did they give you any gifts or tips for visiting the area?
They were very concerned that we would enjoy our stay in their home. They gave us valuable information on local sites they thought we would enjoy. They introduced us to the proprietor of their local market and gave us a tour of their home and amenities.
5. How did exchanging your home influence your vacation, compared to a traditional vacation rental?
GuesttoGuest, was a new experience for us. We liked being connected with a personal exchange of like minded people who love travel. Hotels over time become vanilla, just a place to hang your hat with little connection to your host.
6. Tell us about your trip:
The village of Proceno sits high on a hill removed from the worn and trotted tourist trails of Italy. The winds carry centuries of conversations between the narrow streets as whispers of times past. It is early spring and the morning fog lifts revealing vistas of faraway towns perched on the sides of cliffs bathed in streaks of sunlight dancing across thousand-year-old tile roofs.
The rooftops of Proceno
I left my watch on the bedside stand as time does not have to be measured in blocks or segments of a hectic working day. Proceno is a small village of 500 people in the Lazio region of Italy 125 km North of Rome. This village is essentially removed from the wired hectic world I have grown accustomed to. Proceno has no significant landmarks or major works of art to attract tourists yet it is special as its beauty lies in its serenity, a place where one can unplug and enjoy the sound of silence.
This is a wonderful base to explore towns like Orvieto, or Bolsena a wonderful picturesque lake town less than 30 minutes by car. Proceno is a favorite with hikers and bikers, who appreciate its raw beauty and authenticness. This whole area is drenched with a rich Etruscan history. We toured Savona’s tombs dating back over 2300 years ago. Pitigliano, Sorono, Savona, and other Etruscan villages and towns lie in rows like shiny medals proudly displayed on the chest of ancient Etruscan warriors.
The owner of this quaint apartment where we are staying stated don’t worry about the keys as we are all family here. Her statement codifies why I want to be here. A few decades ago I grew up in a similar town where you didn’t lock your doors as neighbors were like a family looking out for one another. Traveling the back roads of Italy touring the small towns and villages with their Piazza’s, bakeries, small shops, and a sense of community harken back a time when I was so young. A time when the summer sun was so strong and bright my senses were alive with the smell of fresh rain and youth was a tight white canvas waiting for your imagination to splash it with patterns of vibrant bright colors.
I believe technology is slowly diluting the mystery and uniqueness of travel. Last week I was in Orvieto and I observed people walking around with their iPads held high like wooden soldiers doing FaceTime. To me, instant publishing is being connected by some electronic umbilical cord thus losing the experience of the moment. On the flip side is devices like a GPS I can’t imagine traveling Europe without one. As a baby boomer, I have lived in an era where tremendous changes have taken place both in society and especially technology. At this moment in time, I want to indulge myself and embrace my inner being in this collage of landscapes and preserve precious memories. When I was young I always made sure to watch On the Road with Charles Kuralt on CBS. He always closed his show with “ I wonder what is around the next bend” Tomorrow when I leave Proceno I will ask the same question.