This year my home life has been renting at Airbnb. I am a digital nomad and have no fixed abode. I usually book extended stays at an Airbnb and therefore I expect to experience the amenities that are stated in the booking. My worse experiences have been in Italy, where the hosts seem to assume they don’t have to supply or replace broken washing machines, chairs and little kitchen utensils. Italian Airbnb hosts are normally second or third homeowners with furniture as old as Rome itself. Most Italian hosts do not care or understand that the requirement of what is being stated needs to be fulfilled. Let me guide you on what to do when the place you have booked does not fulfil the description. In the last two years, I have stayed in over 25 Airbnb’s around Europe. I am exhausted regarding the state of the home I have booked and more so the lack of empathy from Airbnb hosts.

Anghiari Tuscany Arezzo

Airbnb’s Lack Of Quick Support

Since the pandemic, Airbnb has been in a huge pickle too. They use to be very on the ball and efficient when dealing with check-in problems. But this is now a hit-and-miss due to rule changes. I got bitten by a dog in eastern Europe and Airbnb took one week to respond. This is the new norm. So if you do turn up to be a bad host, don’t expect it to be resolved quickly. normally it costs much more layout as I have left a place and rebooked at a higher cost. This is very stressful in itself. You will see I am always using the word stress now when checking in at an Airbnb. My anxiety due to the poor services of both Airbnb and its hosts has left me not knowing what to expect when I turn up.

Take film, footage of what is wrong when you check-in. Get as many clear photos of what has been stated in the booking and give examples of what is not at the house or flat. This helps with your refund with Airbnb. Keep harassing Airbnb until it is resolved.

Lucca Italy villa view

No Washing Machine

Since 2020 I have been staying in Airbnb’s all around Italy. To date, I have not had a stay that has fulfilled the basic needs promised. I book places that need to have a washing machine. I turn up to see some are not working or are old, and rusty as Lucca, Tuscany itself. I do complain but the hosts lie and never replace the washing machine. It brings stress and assures me that I will not return. When the stay turns sour I do leave a fair and very detailed account of how I have been treated by the host on Airbnb.  The problem with hosts in Tuscany is that they have the rental market, and their long-term feedback or care for the customer is not important.

Villa Tuscany Lucca view Gracie Opulanza

Old Broken Furniture

My last Airbnb in Lucca, Italy was terrible. I booked for a month. The problem is I came a week later and my husband should have complained. Make sure you contact the host the moment you check in. If it is not dealt with contact Airbnb. Now in the past, Airbnb use to respond fast to sort out the problem. But due to the pandemic, they have created a mindset of relaxed aftercare service. Take photos and videos to explain your complaint and keep hassling Airbnb until someone responds. I did not have flowing water for ten days in this Airbnb. The furniture was about fifty years old and broken. The chairs were held together with cling wrap. The mattresses were back-breaking and old as Pisa itself. There must be a hygiene check from Airbnb high lighting that there is a time limit regarding hosts supplying full working furniture. The kitchen amenities were very poor and there were no wine glasses. In the land of wine to have no wine glasses is very poor to me. Broken, glasses, forks knives and burnt pots were also part of my experience. The bed linen was stained and ripped and the so-called three bedrooms were created with thin plastic walls. Which meant there was no privacy and we could hear my teenagers talking on tik tok all the time. Also, the access to the flat was over 72 steep stairs and this should have been stated in the booking. It was very taxing on the body and with all our stuff for a long-term stay. I wouldn’t have booked if I had known. After I left this horrible flat where I stayed for almost one month. It took me five days of sleep to recover at a London hotel. My back was wrecked due to the broken lounges and beds. I still have nightmares about that horrible place in Tuscany.

Broken Dishwasher

When I book I expect all items stated to be working. I have turned up where the dishwasher is broken and it has been for quite some time. Contact Airbnb at once as it is not right or fair that it is not working. I also have had broken shower screens and sink taps again it is not right and brings stress to my long-term stay.  Thank God I had roses to keep me sane.

Air Conditioning

Imagine being in July in an Airbnb in Europe at forty-plus degrees and the aircon is broken. The description of this Airbnb is one of the worse I have ever stayed in. It was sweltering heat and I did not seep at all. The host ignored us and we decided to just endure this horrible two-night stay. The bathroom was very dangerous and old and had broken pipes hanging out when seating on the toilet. The kitchen was old and terribly hot with no aircon at all. Contact Airbnb straight away and demand to be moved.

Wifi Issues

Very much in Italy when you book an Airbnb and in Greece too the wifi will be very slow. Or on remote estates none at all. I travel with tools and extra technology to allow me to make the internet more accessible and fast. As I am a digital nomad and my Airbnb stay is my home for now. If you are on a long-term stay it is worth investing in upgrading the package and forking out that cash.

Loud Neighbours

I had a huge issue in Venice in which the neighbours upstairs were students and they would play games at 2 am. It was really horrible and broke my sleep most nights. The Airbnb host did not care and all I could do was try and sort it out myself. This is a risk when you are booking an Airbnb in a flat building. The walls and ceilings are very thin due to being historical.

Atelier Ricci - Bespoke Cashmere Poncho lucca italy 2021 (3)

Don’t Rebook Outside Of Airbnb

There is the charm of getting that discount. But if you rebook your stay outside of Airbnb you no longer have that support if there are issues. So make sure you decide it is worth saving the extra cash. When entering an Airbnb, I always film so that when a complaint comes in we can prove it was not valid. We had one host trying to charge me $300 for an already broken chair.


In 2020 and 2021 I let many issues go due to the pandemic but now in 2023, I am not going to allow poor value for money upset my long-term stay. Tourism in Europe was at its peak but I feel that will change in 2023, due to inflation, the Ukrainian war and the cost of flying. Asia is not seeing its tourism rise. I am in Thailand and they are 40 million fewer tourists which I am loving.  My hosts are great, I had a stove issue and the very next week they gave me a new one. Italy, Spain and Greece have a very wrong mindset when it comes to guests. They seem to think we just have to put up with it. Don’t, complain to Airbnb and demand it gets sorted.

Villa Tuscany Lucca view Gracie Opulanza