The Airbnb Amphitheater

Buona sera from Lucca! I’m at the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro — a beautiful square that’s actually not square at all. This is the “Place of the Amphitheater,” a round piazza that echoes the Roman arena that stood here 2,000 years ago. I’m here with Chiara and Luca, two guides from Bikes and Bites food tours — and we’re discussing the very modern phenomenon of Airbnb.

All over Europe, you can see the impact that Airbnb has had on historic neighborhoods like this one. As an advocate for travelers, I appreciate the value and cultural intimacy that Airbnb provides — but I also acknowledge the reality that Airbnb drives up the cost of living for locals, changing the character of places we’ve long known and loved.

What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ethics of Airbnb.