Destinations, Europe, Italy 10

Experience with Airbnb -Unexpected surprises in Pavia, Italy

We are finally at the end of our 7 countries Europe Roadtrip travelling through France, Switzerland, Liechstenstein, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and back to England! Majestic mountains and glaciers, Austria, historic castles, churches and amphitheatres, clean beaches, emerald green lake, Slovenia and the beautiful Adriatic Sea, Croatia! We thought we had done all the exciting bits and were just on our way back to England (driving through Switzerland and France). Little did we know there was more to come with Airbnb on our last stop in Pavia, Italy!



Airbnb is our most recommended suggestion for choosing comfortable, clean, budget, and family friendly accommodation, with bonus of local knowledge about the places we are at. Besides staying with friends, camping or staying at empty houses belonging to our friend’s friends and family(!), Airbnb has really helped with budget travel. We were on our way back from Venice and Verona and didn’t really care where we stayed around Milan. We chose the cheapest one – £25 a night for 4 of us, two double beds, large spacious room. That’s all we knew as the description was in all in Italian and we didn’t bother to google translate it. So glad we didn’t because this is what we ended up with!

A rustic beautiful HUGE old farm run by the friendliest lady Patrizia and her husband. I will let the pictures do the talking 🙂








Not only was the farm absolutely amazing – clean modern room and bathroom, massive kitchen and dining (all to ourselves as we were the only guests there!) – but Patrizia’s father, this lovely old Italian farmer, took the kids out to collect fresh eggs in the morning and then they cooked it themselves with Patrizia. They absolutely LOVED it!





The surrounding area was very fascinating too, not what we had expected to see in Italy. Rice fields all around, river running through the village, and the quirkiest bridge we had ever seen (on boats)! The area was called Parco Ticino, a bit run down and poor but if we had stayed longer, Patrizia offered to take us fishing nearby to another river, where apparently it was very clean and green. Kids had fun at the river we were at, trying to catch fish with their bare hands 🙂





We did have a little mishap there, we had gone in for drinks at the bar by the river and came back to find one of our tires slashed and one tiny windowglass broken – they didn’t steal anything, so not sure who we managed to piss off, or whether it was just some kids being super bored…nothing was stolen and some kind people helped us out, calling the Police, translating for us, driving me and the kids back to the farm while Ashique sorted the tire and filed report with the Police. Patrizia and her husband felt really bad and cooked dinner for us and gave us breakfast the next morning too!


A very unexpected twist to the last stretch of the journey, but that is what travel adventures are all about! Our time in Italy made all the more memorable by our wonderful stay thanks to Patrizia and Airbnb 🙂

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  • 5sOnTheFly says: September 16, 2014 at 3:05 am

    Beautiful pictures! We’re heading to Italy next month, and seeing all the images is making it hard to wait 🙂

    • samselim says: September 16, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Thank you 🙂 We so love Italy, been to different parts and have loved it all! Where are you guys headed? You are going at a good time too! We enjoyed our other two times in Oct and April even more because there were less people then. I wrote another piece on the Amalfi Coast if you wanted to have a look..Enjoy travels 🙂

      • 5sOnTheFly says: September 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm

        We’re spending a week in Rome, then heading to Lucca for two months. Just saw your post on Croatia and Pula; we’re pondering spending 3 months in Croatia so that we can get back into other parts of Europe. The amphitheater in Pula looks pretty impressive, and we’re considering Split for our main home base.

        It’s a pleasure to come across you’re blog as well, and we’ll be following your travels with interest 🙂

  • samselim says: September 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Rome is my favourite city in all of Europe! I loved it there! Will be interesting to read about your experiences of what it is like with children. It’s one of the few places I did solo travel. Never been to Lucca but pictures look lovely! Great idea to be in Croatia for 3 months and use it as base to explore other parts. We found costs so reasonable and cheap compared to surrounding European countries. And such a beautiful country! Am sure you guys will love it 🙂 We definitely plan to be back. We really need to do more slow travel, one of our new travel goals!

  • Sarah says: September 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    This looks great (except for the tyre being slashed of course). An unexpected delight (and great pics!)

    • samselim says: September 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks! It really was great, especially as it was so random and unexpected, not what we expected to find south of Milan, just passing through, staying one night 🙂

  • Linda Anderson says: September 18, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I’m sorry for your car…things like that can really ruin a vacation…however it looks like you otherwise had a great stay!

    • samselim says: September 18, 2014 at 8:26 am

      It did feel very stressful at that point in time, but now that it’s over, all we remember it was just being a tiny glitch in the big adventure 🙂

  • […] 5 years on, today we do mainly Airbnb. You can read about our wonderful experiences with it in Italy. Highly recommended for staying somewhere homely, good price with lot of local knowledge, great for […]

  • Weekly Photo Challenge: Darkness | RAASTA says: September 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    […] On the bright side, we had booked to stay at this place through Airbnb without knowing much about the place. Just to pass through for a day on our way back to France and England. It turned out to be the loveliest farm we had ever been to, run by the kindest and friendliest of people. You can read about our experiences at Patrizia’s farm here. […]

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