The company he founded 11 years ago is now worth 30 billion dollars and currently offers 4 million ads spread across 191 countries, but the creator of AirBnb , Joe Gebbia, has decided to kick off a project in collaboration with Anci and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage to re-evaluate the ” Italian villages “. Interviewed by Repubblica , the very rich 36 year old tells how the idea of ​​AirBnB was born and how it never chose to help the villages of Italy not to die.

“In 2007, my former university colleague Brian had moved to my house and the owner had just increased his rent, and in those days in San Francisco there was a big design conference: finding a bed was a utopia I had an idea and in one night the site “Air bed and breakfast” was born: inflatable mattress, desk and wi-fi at twenty dollars a night “. […] It was the beginning of everything “.

AirBnb was born even after the experience – sometimes traumatic – of Gebbia’s first trip around Europe, with a friend.

“The hostel was a luxury: on the Côte d’Azur we slept in tent with forty degrees.We got so tired in Barcelona that we could not even mount it: we threw our sleeping bags on the ground and woke up covered with ants”.

Now, however, the project with the ministry and the ANCI to prevent the Italian villages from becoming ghosts in the near future.

“Now we are in Italy to promote the project on the villages: in 2050, 60 percent of the population will live in big cities and small towns are likely to die.” A portal was born to rent the vacant houses to travelers, and we have a recovery project of degraded spaces. […] A company like ours has a social responsibility “.