As you open the teal front door of Marta Napoleone Mazzoni‘s Airbnb on the North Side, you’re met by a large, Impressionist-style abstract painting hanging above the couch. On the second floor, both bedrooms display colorful, grand paintings hanging above the headboards.
Throughout the three-story, four-bedroom house, you’ll find pieces of art large and small displayed on walls with the artists’ names on placards. At this mini art gallery, guests who fall in love with some of these pieces can even buy them.
“When you go to an art gallery, you don’t get to spend a lot of time with a piece,” Mazzoni says. “It’s my hope that being here, you can just have a moment with it and let it speak to you.”
For 37-year-old Mazzoni, the Airbnb is a thriving business and a way of showcasing her love of Pittsburgh and sharing art with visitors.
The house, which can sleep up to nine people, is available for $200 a night on weekdays and $300-plus on weekends. (Pricing varies depending on holidays and what events are happening in town.) Since opening in March, Mazzoni says she has rented it out almost every week.
Mazzoni selected the art for her Airbnb through connections she has made in the city: “Most of the people who are featured are not just talented artists, but are friends of ours,” she says.
Local artists with work featured in the space include Victoria Bradley, Forrest Conroy, Joe Groom, Justin Guerino, David Irvine, Rob Larson, Cara Livorio, Joyce Werwie Perry, Stephanie Strasburg and Jeff Swensen.
Some pieces have been donated as permanent installations, while other works are on loan until purchased.
“We’ve got such an eclectic group,” Mazzoni says.
But this Airbnb isn’t the only way Mazzoni gets to know new people.
She is also the host of the podcast Marta on the Move, where she shares her love of travel, cultural experiences and the people and places that make her hometown special.
“I love meeting new people,” she says. “I love hosting dinners and inviting strangers.”
Her goal for the Airbnb is to expand the space into broader experiences like hosted dinners, game nights and private yoga sessions (she’s currently studying to be a certified yoga instructor).
“My husband and I travel a lot, and when we travel, I’m always looking for that immersive and intimate experience,” she says. “That’s what I look for when I travel and that’s what I hope my guests will take away.”
This isn’t Mazzoni’s first time creating an Airbnb. Ten years ago, she bought a duplex in Crafton, where she and her husband rented the bottom floor and lived on the top floor.
“We realized that we didn’t want to rent it anymore and we wanted to renovate it,” she says. “I had the idea of doing an Airbnb because I’ve stayed in so many overseas, and they are so eclectic. You get to see how people live; you get inspiration for your own house.”