Our French and Italian Adventure! Sponsored by Eurail and Hostelworld

I can’t even really explain how excited I am to be heading back to Europe. I haven’t been on the continent since 2009 (Does Iceland even count?) and I miss it terribly. There’s just nothing like exploring old medieval towns and eating gelato in the rich afternoon sunlight. I’ve been fantasizing about it ever since we booked our tickets back in August.

Now, thanks to some awesome sponsors, I’m confident that this trip is going to be truly amazing!


Everyone knows that the best way to see Europe is by train, so when Eurail.com agreed to supply Mike and I with a three-country, 5 stop rail pass, I was beyond excited. With out a doubt, a train eurail pass is the easiest way to get around Europe. Plus, because Mike and I are olds and over 26, we’ll be journeying first class. Super fancy.

We deliberated a lot on which three countries we wanted on our pass (you can do just about every combination imaginable). I poured over the website, looking at train maps and googling destinations. Finally we settled on Spain, France and Italy.

This will be the first time I’ve used a Eurail pass so I’ll be blogging about my experiences with it and hopefully some suggestions on how to make the most of European train travel.


Photo by nest hostels valencia

The best thing about working with Hostelworld is that they are a website I have used and loved since I started backpacking back in 2006. I’ve written for their website and have wanted to do something with them for ages. Europe is the perfect opportunity!

Hostelword will be hooking Mike and I up with accommodations on all of our stops on this trip. As someone who truly believes in the value of hostels, I’ll be writing about our experiences and spotlighting some cool places to stay.

 So… Where are We Going?

When I started planning it became clear we’d made a mistake from the get go: We’d only given ourselves 2.5 weeks after TBEX in Europe.

As a result we’re going to a lot of places in a little time- not our favorite travel style but after a lot of planning I think we can make it work. After a little less than a week in the Costa Brava region, tutoring at the blog house in Besalu, attending TBEX in Girona and hopefully doing at least a little sightseeing, we’ll active our passes and we’re off.

Our itinerary:

9/24-9/27- Avignon

9/27- 9/30- Marseille

9/30- 10/2- Nice (with maybe a stopover in Monaco)

10/2- 10/5- Genoa (and hopefully Cinque Terre)

10/5- 10/9- Florence

10/9-10/11- Barcelona (via air- that would be a LONG train ride)

Of course I’ll be writing about all of this on a couple week delay, but you can follow along in real time on twitter and facebook.

Meanwhile, do you have any suggestions for me on any of these places? Must-sees, or must-eats? Let me know in the comments!


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20 thoughts on “Our French and Italian Adventure! Sponsored by Eurail and Hostelworld”

  1. This sounds fabulous, Steph. Hope you guys have a great time there! I’d LOVE to go to Avignon, Nice and Marseille – Provence and southern France has always fascinated me. Maybe I’ll finally get there next summer! Also, congrats on the partnerships – you go girl! (and fiance).

  2. Cinque Terre and Barcelona are two of my absolute favorites. You definitely have to go to Cinque Terre, and l agree with Kami, do the walking trail. In Barcelona go see La Rambla, La Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell. Actually, pretty much anything Gaudí is a win.

  3. Sounds like a great trip! I miss Europe a lot and look forward to getting my fill by reading about your adventures 🙂

    When you’re in Florence, take the bus up to Fiesole (about 20-30 minutes). Cute little town with a bunch of Etruscan/Roman ruins, fabulous food, and great views of Florence. Plus, when I was there in the fall there were hardly any other people there! Felt like I had the city to myself.

  4. travelling in Europe by train is the best, you’ll love it!
    also make sure you’ll go to Cinque Terre and hike between villages, it so much better than Genoa itself (which is a nice city but just for a day)!

  5. I can’t wait to hear about Florence, I’m going there in January for the first time. Also Barcelona at the end of November X

  6. Oh man, this looks like it will be a beautiful trip. I’m a sucker for southern France — and very looking forward to your thoughts on Avignon!

    There’s a kind of famous absinthe bar in Barcelona that is actually very cool and worth checking out, but I’m completing blanking out on the name of it right now.

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