Location: Rome - London
Duration of visit: April 8-9th (Rome) / 9-10th (London)
Distance travelled (so far): 21921 miles /35266 kilometers
After a lovely visit to see @Robin4 (& Ade) at the weekend, the past few days have certainly flown by.
Since leaving Adelaide, I flew an hour or so to Melbourne to meet with Laura, before we set off on a long (25 hr flight incl. 4 hour stop) overnight flight to Rome, together.
With only a 4 hour stop off in Singapore, there sadly wasn’t enough time to go out and explore (plus, it was about 10pm at night). So how did we pass the time, I hear you say? Well, after an 8 hour flight to Singapore, we did what most logical people would do and visited a butterfly farm (free and in the airport, if anyone is interested)! :)
We managed to see a grand total of 2 butterflies, but the space was pretty nice to look at.
Only mishap of the flight, the ice-cream we received was very nice, but rather solid...I’m pretty sure I accidentally flicked some of my ice-cream into the air (eep!...). Laura and I both dealt with it well....
With a 2:00pm check-in to my listing, I headed to a hidden away café for a rather indulgent croissant (I think I’m definitely putting on weight!) and this is where I shared my visit to see Robin with you all. :)
After dragging my suitcase for 25 minutes across Rome, past some pretty amazing sites might I add, I arrived at my listing! I was met by my host Andrea and he showed me around the place and my room, but the moment of magic was the tour up to the roof, what a view!. Below is Platinum Hill and the Roman imperial palaces, some of the oldest building in the entire city.
Later that day, I met with Laura. I thought, as many of you love the Community Spotlight series and as we are halfway through the tour, you might like to hear a bit more. Take a look here.
To finish the day the very lovely Italian Airbnb Team, said…”you can’t visit Rome and not learn how to make pasta!”, so we went on a pasta making Airbnb Experience.
It is very fun making pasta, and the taste is mouthwatering, but making pasta is not a quick process. :) Have you ever made fresh pasta? Or do you have any tips?
I was excited to be reunited with my lovely colleague, Italian CC Community Manager, @Francesca in Rome. It was amazing to hear that Francy was staying with host, and active IT CC contributor, Paola. I felt lucky to be introduced to Paola and also Luca, at the event and we had a great discussion about the CC and hosting. Francy will be sharing some of her personal highlights from Rome shortly.
Rome host event
The event, was held in a nice little cafe and co-working space towards the east of the city. Around about 30 Italian hosts joined us for a Q&A with Laura and the Country Manager, Matteo. After a great session, the community asked some important questions including about Work collection criteria, Airbnb Plus and regulations. This then led into a breakout session, where we split up into three groups to focus on three key talking points; Product Feedback, Community and Hosts as partners. This really made out cogs turn and it was great to hear so many interesting thoughts.
It was sad to leave, but again the airport was beckoning us. We grabbed a couple of pieces of delicious pizza for the road and the ridiculous pile of luggage Erin & Tim (photographer/videographer) had with them and headed to the airport for our flight to London. Thank you to everyone in Rome, for your amazing hospitality and thoughtful discussions.
That evening, I didn’t stay with a host, I went home to my bed! But, I did reconnect with my UK roots, with a very tasty pie and gravy. Yum! (I don't recommend this with jet lag - hehe).
Aww London! Another early start, but this time I knew my way to the office and the sun was out. I know many of you liked taking a peak at the different office spaces, so here is the green in London (I love all the plants). :)
London host event
We had a bustling group of about 40 hosts arrive and settle down for a Q&A with Laura, this time a local host Roxanne was asking the questions. Most of the questions asked, were around the Superhost program, which was great to see as I know this has been a popular topic here in the CC.
Similarly to Rome, we then went into separate groups to discuss the three key talking points. It was fantastic to see the energy in the room and enthusiasm, so much so I feel we could have carried on this for several days more. Fantastic stuff.
One of my highlights of the session, was meeting our friends from the CC, @Gordon and @Paul1255 in person. I was so chuffed they could make it and have their opportunity to hear more about what Laura and her team are working on and answer any questions they had. It was so lovely to meet them both and they are just as friendly in person, it was also great hearing their thoughts on the CC.
There is never enough time though and I would love to arrange more time for CC members to come together and chat with each other face-to-face, so for anyone else in London, I'm thinking of arranging a Community Center meetup in the London office in a few months so we can come together. Would anyone be up for that?
Our listening tour is coming to the end now and Toronto is our last stop. I feel I may have the wrong type of coat for the weather! Brrrrr.
I hope you are all keeping well.
It was a great session, but I was so surprised that none of the hosts I spoke to on the day had even heard of the CC...100% up for a London CC meet up, also need to work out how to get more hosts through to the CC- we spoke a lot about "community" and so many people are missing out on that by not knowing about this place.
Now that Airbnb is is my life full-time I am up for helping you in whatever way I can, the Airbnb office is so close to most of my co-hosted listings and your office is a half hour walk from my own place.
thanks for this great post! Meeting you in Rome with the local Hosts has been a deep experience. I am very happy you met the Hosts of the Italian community :) They loved you.
See you soon!
I can't believe you are still standing @Lizzie , I would be soo exhausted after all that traveling! So cool everyone got together in London. I'm jealous! Come to the east coast USA next time :-) Although we still have snow where I am :-/
I didn't even see a single butterfly! I did see a lizard though :) :) Great summary Lizzie!
My favourite thing of the week, for sure, was meeting @Lizzie. It's just lovely to connect in person with someone you think you 'know' because of their online presence. And as if it couldn't get any better, I managed to bag a few freebies - and a bag - which I swung with a grin on my face as I walked across Blackfriars Bridge in the sunshine.
As for the talk itself - well, it could have gone on for much longer than it did. There was one subject that got a bit heated, but I'll save that for another thread so not as to muck dear @Lizzie's up!
Mouth huge, mine
Socks free, mine too
@Lizzie Looks so awesome to see everyone come together and I’m loving all the international cuisine ;) nothing in the world like Italian pizza. I do have a pasta machine somewhere but I never bonded with it ;)
Rome and Italy are so much fun to visit and was one of my favourite places to visit.
Lizzie and Laura did you see the Coliseum? Vatican? etc on your quick tour through Rome?
I was a little naughty in Rome and took someone's parking ticket as a "souvenir" and would like to apologise for having done so if they had any hassles with the authorities.
We all do things on travels at some stage we don't think of the consequences until down the track.
Best memories of Rome was dinner in a Grotto type restaurant and been shown through the kitchen where they made our meals and having the privilege of sharing the couple who had they're wedding photographs taken at The Coliseum together with a visit to the Vatican where there's the most amazing views over Rome.
Welcome aboard new Community Centre members from Italy!!
All the best, Ciao