More than just a house exchange….

“Real” Italy

Deciding where to go on our annual home exchange was an easy task when choosing Italy as our destination two years ago.

We wanted to visit the “real” Italy we all had daydreamed about so many times.  We wanted to experience the country’s lush landscapes, vibrant small towns, markets filled with colourful vegetables, delicious food, endless cantinas with wine, fascinating culture and heritage, and best of all—Italy’s amazing people.

This is exactly what we found in our home exchange in Terni, in the Umbria region. (IT008500)

Welcoming hosts

After spending a few amazing days in Rome, Bill, myself, my sister and brother-in-law hopped on the train to Terni, about an hour away.  Filled with excitement and expectation, we arrived at the station were our super host was eagerly waiting for us.  Emanuela, Paolo and their son Leonardo had everything meticulously organized for the group.

Our hostess immediately took on the role of a tour guide pointing out parks, stores and points of interest in her beautiful quaint city.  When we arrived at her comfortable apartment the smell of a welcoming lunch, deliciously prepared by her mamma, took us by surprise. Her husband, Paolo, joined us for the feast, and our family adventure began!

Our hosts took the time to put together an extensive list of places to go around the city, restaurants, shops, and places of interest in nearby villages, beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls.  They went above and beyond to make sure our stay with them was memorable. They organized a fantastic wine tour at one of the local cantinas, Fattoria Le Poggette, with their friend and viticulturist, Franco.  We purchased our supply of delicious wines for the week (we were very happy!).

On another occasion, they took us to a medieval banquet in the nearby town of Bevagna, where we met up with their friends to enjoy what was the most unique and delicious medieval feast we had ever experienced!  It was really an unforgettable evening, filled with music, food, dancing and the company of our new friends.


Every day called for adventure, we hiked the Marmore falls and its beautiful natural environment, enjoyed the vistas of the Piediluco Lake, visited the towns of Assisi, Orvieto, Spoleto, Narni, Gubbio, Trevi, and during this time, our hosts made sure we were enjoying ourselves with a text or a phone call.

Before continuing on our journey through the rest of the country, Emanuela and Paolo organized a going away dinner for us with their close friends.  What an unforgettable evening it was filled with incredible food, outstanding wines, and the company of our newfound friends. We felt special, blessed to share wonderful memories that will last us for a lifetime.

Intervac has allowed us to meet fascinating people around the world. We have created friendships that are priceless to us, each one of them a special part of our family…our extended Intervac family.

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  1. Thank you Edda! It was our first swap experience, we were so excited and worried at the same time, but it was definitely the best way to start with Intervac Home Exchange… we founded a new extended family! 🙂

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