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Student Couple Planning 6-week Summer European Extravaganza

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So I'm lucky enough to have studied abroad in London this spring term and then have my girlfriend come meet up with me for a pre-senior year European escapade extravaganza.

We have our basic itinerary planned out, and the Europass is on its way in the mail, but being 21 -- with relatively little European travel experience (been to London and Paris 8 years ago with the fam, and Scotland, Amsterdam and of course London this term) and a student-sized budget -- I'm wondering if anyone had any insider tips on what to do in each location, suggestions for changes to our itinerary or anything else really.

We've been together for over 2 years now so romantic stuff is good (if affordable), we're relying solely on public transit, we're big walkers/explorers, planning on getting some culture in museums, cathedrals and such, but would also love more less-touristy suggestions and day trip ideas.

Here's what we have planned so far:

London: june 17th - june 21st (Staying on a friends couch near Queensway Tube)

Paris: june 21st - june 30th (Booked an apartment in the Belleville neighborhood, day trip to Versaille)

South of France: july 1 (We're planning on stopping for a day somewhere in between Paris and Barcelona for a day. Not sure where yet. Any ideas?)

Barcelona: july 2nd - july 9th (Staying at the girlfriend's aunt's spare apartment on the beach in Badalona)

Nice: july 10th - july 12th (Planning on a hostel. Maybe a cheap hotel? BnB?)

Cinque Terre: july 13-july 14th (Especially want suggestions for this one. Is it worth it? How should we break up the five towns? Is 36+ hours enough?)

Rome: july 15th - july 21st
Florence: july 21 - july 23th
Venice: july 24 - july 26th

Flying back to London from Marco Polo at 10 pm. Then home to SFO the next day.

So we have 11 days in Rome, Florence and Venice. Any suggestions on how to split it up? Are there any must-do relatively easy day trips? Neighborhoods to stay in?

We have housing for the first half of the trip settled but after that it's up in the air. Our budget is probably about 35-40 US $ a night each, and would prefer to avoid hostels if we can. Maybe rent an apartment in Rome since we'll be there for 5 nights?

So overall are there any big picture type things you'd change with our plan or are there any insider tips you can suggest for great things to do in each place? And especially tips for getting the most out of the Europass. We have 8 travel days within 2 months, so I think if I did my math correctly we have one spare day. We're really looking forward to this and appreciate any and all help.


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