The last stop is Verona and the lake Garda, we’ve been here before as well but both are worth a second and even a third, fourth and fifth visit if you ask me.
The hotel is at the lake and after we checked in we went to the pool to swim and relax a bit. In the early afternoon we got ready to drive to Verona (which is an around 30 km way).
There was so much traffic that we were wondering what’s going on in the city and we were already a bit scared that parking will be a nightmare but our hidden parking garage from our last visit seems to be an insider tip as it was almost empty.
Once there we found out that Aida would be played for the last time this season in the Arena Verona and therefore many were driving into the city.
We strolled through the old part of Verona, ate gelato, enjoyed the rays of sunshine on our skin.
In the evening we planned to eat Pizza in a Pizzeria very close to the Arena which tasted so good the year before. This year it was even special as we were able to listen a bit to the music from the arena although it’s indeed much less what you hear outside than I thought.
(The man is my husband so no worries about people on picture rights 🙂 )
There it was, our last evening in Italy for this year. The years to come will never be the same because we will be three persons. There are exciting times in front of us and we can’t wait to meet this little baby.
Will it be a boy or a girl? We have already a name for each but which name will be written down for the first time in April 2016 to document the birth of our new family member?
You see there is much more to write about…
At the end I give you a few more Italy impressions – enjoy.
415 km later we are back in ‘our’ area and still enjoy our holidays.
The garden of the farm where we stay (see part 1) is a dream and perfect to relax in.
We go almost daily to the beach, just lying in the shadow of our umbrella, swimming, eating and living the Italian sentence “dolce far niente” which means the sweetness of doing nothing.
On the beach free days we love to visit cities.
Siena is worth several visits as is San Gimignano.
We kept Florence for the way back home and decided to stay one night in Florence and one night in Verona before we are completely back in our day-to-day routine at home.
I have the feeling as if I walk on clouds during these holidays – knowing that I’m responsible now for a tiny human being is lifting my mood to a level I didn’t knew before, is it called bliss, I don’t know. Sure is that it feels so good that I will remember it for the rest of my life!
It is known that women change during pregnancy (obviously) and that the perception (smell, taste) can change.
I have only two things I cannot stand at the moment which are bananas and my husband’s perfume. Both nothing which bothers me too much, besides these everything is just much more intense. The food tastes better, the flowers smell more, life is wonderful.
I soak in everything nice during this summer, I want my baby to smell the summer in Italy, it’s the first holidays we have as a family and he or she is living inside of me. I believe that embryos sense what’s going on around them, even at that early stage.
After the full dose of relaxation we have to start packing for the way back.
For the last evening we decided to say “goodbye” with a barbecue in the wonderful garden (I can’t say it often enough) and once we finished eating it started to rain slightly as if Grosseto was sad too that we gonna leave the next day.
After we said goodbye to Marzena and her family in the morning and promised that we will be back one day with the bambini I’m happy that we will stop twice before leaving Italy and not drive back all the way at once.
Florence, here we come.
The David is “someone” I need to show you – here he is the famous David from Michelangelo:
The ‘Dolce far niente’ is something you can also enjoy in the middle of a city full of tourists and noises, here my yoga practice is diving in as I learn to focus on one thing at a time and this time it’s a wonderful Moroccan peppermint tea.
The city is wonderful and we love to go through without a plan. My husband bought tourism-like a selfie-stick so the crazy parents-to-be have quite an album full of selfies.
What I see now besides the fun we had is the glow everyone was talking about – here I see the first time this pregnancy glow on my face and if men have it as well my husband is one of them. We were as happy as we thought we could be.
Florence is wonderful so I’ll leave you with some impressions for now. The fifth part will follow, I promise!
To give our ‘laziness’ a break we decided to spend our wedding anniversary in Pompeii and Naples. My husband’s birthday is one day before our anniversary so I tried to organize an ice cake the evening before to surprise him with at midnight.
That’s not an easy task when you are 24/7 more or less together but being pregnant I had always the excuse to go and check for a toilet. As much as I hated it, this time it was really good as an excuse.
When we were walking through Grosseto a couple of days before I’ve seen a small shop with wonderful ice cake creations (it’s a pity that I don’t remember the name, I would’ve told you but the struggle with pregnancy dementia is not a joke.) and as we were about to drive back to the apartment I ran there, asked them to put the ice cake on ice so that it’s not melted before we’re arriving and put it into the car before I went back to my husband.
I can tell you, that wasn’t easy, the most complicated part was not to buy all of them as they all looked so delicious and you know how it is, once you want something you can’t stop yourself from craving it so much that it hurts (and always say “It’s the baby, the baby wants it, not me.”).
Oh how I loved being pregnant – while writing down all these memories I cannot wait for having a second baby – it was such a wonderful time.
The birthday surprise was good as my husband really was wondering how and when I bought the cake – I love being able to surprise him like this.
We had a wonderful sunny day and planned the trip to Naples the next day.
Marzia was checking if her guests were happy and we told her that we leave the next morning not that she wonders why our apartment is empty for two days. It’s really as if you tell your family what you plan so that they won’t worry.
Lots of water to drink in the car and something to eat as well – we had 415 km to go and planned to drive early in the morning so that we arrive before the heat of the day would be there. What we underestimated is that the Naples region is again much warmer than the Grosseto region so we ended up with 39°C at noon.
Pompeii – my little baby deep inside my belly, Pompeii is a very special place because your mommy was soaking in everything she could find about the story of Pompeii and the archaeological site. It took her 37 years to finally be at the gates of this ancient city and sharing this with your daddy and of course with you is very special. Let’s have a wonderful afternoon in here and I promise I will rest in the shadow when I find shadow and drink lots so that you can swim happily deep inside my belly.
Hot, hot, hot, it looks as if we had chosen one of the hottest days of the year but when you think about the tragedy of Pompeii you start to shiver and inside a building where some of the people of Pompeii were laying even your blood freezes. It’s so interesting and sad at the same time. You can see a child buried in his father’s arm – the cruelty touches especially when you expect your own child.
I knew by then already that whatever happens I would throw myself in front of this baby no matter what but that these people had to do it because there was no other way out and even if they did all died in the end is a nightmare.
My dream of Pompeii was reality and I was standing there but besides all this bittersweet beauty of that place I was a bit disappointed – archaeologists work to uncover every tiny bit of this story but as a visitor you have no idea because the people who “run” this place seem not to care. I’m not sure if it’s the city of Naples that’s in charge or who it is but I would’ve been willing even to pay more entry if I would get more information for that.
There are streets, houses, gardens where certain people surely know who was living there, was that a bakery next to a butcher, where were the areas of the richer people, all these stories behind the stones are missing pieces from my point of view when you walk through Pompeii.
Where were the school and the senate? Did they had a public swimming area like there were in Rome?
These are the remaining parts – so cruel to see yet even more important to show that they all were human beings having a normal life.
If I would get paid I would move there for as long as it takes to work with the archaeologists, read the history in the files of the city, do research and create a way to guide the visitor’s through a Pompeii that’s full of life, through a Pompeii on the day before the Vesuvio erupted, on a normal day in the city. Oh what a dream this would be.
After a long afternoon we checked in at our hotel in Naples.
The hotel was nice and quite central but not easy to find and with an outside parking area which seems normal for Naples but is a bit scary when you know that Naples is a city full of crime.
Once there we showered off the dust of Pompeii and started relaxed into an evening of what? Of food…Naples is known as the birthplace of Pizza so we had to try Pizza but also some pasta and gelato.
After Pizza and Pasta we started to walk through Naples, we followed our heart, walking hand in hand, free as birds, stopped for ice cream, enjoyed the evening air which settled in and took a bit of the heat of the day away, we went into small streets where clothes were on lines between the houses like you see it on typical Naples picture. Naples is not only nice, it’s also dirty but we tried to ignore the fact as we wouldn’t stay long.
The three of us had a relaxed evening and slept great after such an exciting day.
On the next morning we started with breakfast in the hotel which I love while my husband hates it.
Before we left the room I had a green tea which started to become a daily habit to reduce my coffee intake during the pregnancy.
After that I has a buffet in front of me and I can sit hours to eat and have coffee and eat and enjoy the morning while my husband wants his coffee and that’s it.
Now with me being pregnant he couldn’t tell me I should eat quickly as our baby needs all the vitamins and of course a relaxed and happy mom.
Before we started to drive back to our apartment in Grosseto we enjoyed the morning in Naples and strolled through some shops, had a last coffee in this city and stocked up the water for our way.
All in all that was a great 2nd wedding anniversary and we may come back but only to show Pompeii to our child (or if they want me to work for the archaeological site 🙂 ).
415 km to go now – more of the Tuscany will follow in another post.
As I wrote in part one – these holidays would be the best before a new chapter in our life would start.
Ok, the start of these holidays were mainly food and toilets.
I love to eat, I always did, but pregnant I was eating more and was craving fresh and healthy food (mainly) so not the typical pregnancy cravings but the healthier version of them. Especially breakfast, I love breakfast.
Fresh fruit daily, without would have been a nightmare, so it was great that Marzia’s father had his daily walk over the farm and that he stopped by to give us some fresh peaches out of their garden for the bambini.
My daily breakfast was greek yogurt with peaches and while writing about it I could just eat it again although I’m not pregnant.
In Siena we sat on the Piazza del Campo the year before eating Pizza out of the box, just enjoying the sunshine and watching people. This year I preferred the Caprese Con Mozzarella Di Bufala.
There was lots of food this year but honestly, what would Italy be without food, still nice but something would be wrong. They have so much wonderful food that not eating would be a shame. Besides I had to eat for two now, hadn’t I 😉
I mentioned toilets earlier but don’t worry, all I ate stayed with me, I just had the wonderful pregnancy urge to go to the toilet felt every half an hour. That’s not a big thing when you are at home but it can be really annoying when you are in cities or sometimes even villages and you have to find public (eeewww) toilets. My best friend was a disinfection spray in my bag and wet tissues.
My baby was so wonderful, growing inside of me without bothering me with pregnancy sickness, heartburn, nausea or other pregnancy signs. OK, I had a bit a bloated belly but hey, I had nothing to hide, it looked even a bit like a baby bump.
It looks even more than a baby bump and not just bloated when you place your hand on your belly 😉
My husband was the happiest daddy-to-be you can even imagine. Our mood was really great and we are often fighting for nothing, two stubborn minds, but during these holidays I cannot remember that we had lots of senseless fights about who bought the wrong water or other life-changing topics.
Parents-to-be seem to be full of oxytocin.
I love stunning views and could sit and look at them for hours just thinking nothing, during these holidays I was loving to sit and just watch the ocean, breathing in the salty air and thinking if our baby would realize the change from Munich to Italy, thoughts what he or she feels, tastes, do embryos taste even at that early stage?
Hours could pass like that without me being impatient or bored.
As I’m a bookworm I surely took a book with me to the beach but I think I read if at all the introduction page and the remaining time my thoughts were everywhere but focused on that book.
What I was reading at night was Deepak Chopra’s “Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy” and I can recommend that to every pregnant woman. I loved it!
We had not only our wedding anniversary but also my husband’s birthday while we were in Italy and I always wanted to visit the archaeological site of Pompeii since I heard the story during my Latin’s lessons in school.
If not this time when then? That surely wouldn’t be something with a baby or toddler so the next years not on our list.
Wedding anniversary in Pompeii, the biggest catastrophe you can imagine not only for couples but for whole families – thanks that we both don’t believe in bad luck or better said will always find the opposite if something is bad.
More about Pompeii in part three – the little embryo is already 13 months old and needs my attention now. I hope you stay with me.
It was just the beginning of my pregnancy when we drove to Italy.
These holidays were planned and I was even more excited to visit the places with our baby in my belly.
Couple time for almost three weeks without stress, without work, without daily routine, without plan.
Yes, without plan. What I like is that we spend our holidays according to our mood and indeed without a plan.
We want to sleep long, we do it, we want to visit a certain city, we drive there, we want to eat ice-cream for breakfast, yes, we do that. Perfect for a pregnant woman.
I was a bit worried as the way from Munich to the Grosseto region is quite a ride but with lots of breaks it was completely fine.
The interesting is that as soon as we are over the Brenner Pass it’s like a button that is pressed and we run in holiday mode. It’s like a magic line, before we are too close to home to feel the holidays already and after that line all is relaxed and sunny and the radio is already playing Italian music.
We’ve chosen to stay in an agriturismo quite close to the sea which is like an apartment on a rural farm. The year before we were more inside the country and my husband had an encounter with a very tiny scorpion and since then the first question before we even check for the price is: “Have you seen scorpions in your area?”.
Our choice was close to perfect! (I will add the address as a footnote for those interested)
We were expected by Marzia Lucchetti, the owner, and found a homemade cake on our kitchen table to welcome us made by her mother. A family run farm where you feel the warm-hearted atmosphere on the doorstep.
This was our base camp to start excursions in all directions. It would be our last Tuscany visit as a couple. The next time we would go to Italy it would be a family vacation where activities need to be more baby friendly.
First on the list – find a beach nearby which is not too full and has nice sand. That was easy as the region has indeed wonderful beaches.
Checking the area is something we love, we just start to drive and see where we end up. Going north felt familiar as we went there the year before and many places were close to our hearts already and a must for this year like San Vincenzo, San Gimignano, Piombino with the wonderful view to the island Elba and of course the bigger cities Siena and Florence.
Exploring the Maremma area was new and we found some hidden jewels for us there as well, Castiglione della Pescaia is one of our favorites, so small but such a wonderful atmosphere in the evening.
Grosseto itself is also nice, we liked it to sit on the market place in the evening when families gather there and children are playing, when will we be back with our child? Will he or she run crazily around like the other kids do, these thoughts were so new yet so full of love already.
These holidays would be the best before a new chapter in our life would start, I was sure about that and the fear that something could go wrong (again) subsided step by step.
It took us less than two months until I had a new positive pregnancy test in my hands and this time the excitement was completely different.
We were so happy but at the same time completely scared – what if?
There was this what if it happens again and I tried to get it out of my mind as often as possible but it was always lingering around.
This little baby doesn’t deserve a worried and scared mom, it should get all the endorphins a happy mom produces so most of the time I put the ‘what if’ thought aside.
We found out very early as I was tracking my cycle after the first one. I was just 4 weeks pregnant when I had the test in my hand and we started a close schedule of gynecologist appointments for the first weeks mainly to be reassured that all is fine.
Our holidays were booked already and during that time I would be around 9 weeks, the same time when we lost our first, so we went for one last check-up before we started to drive to Italy.
In Italy we started to relax and more and more to enjoy this pregnancy and to look forward to the months to come.
This little bean was fed with the best Italian food for almost 3 weeks and swam in the sea with us. We drove back completely relaxed and happy.
Once we hit the 12 week milestone we started to tell others and I finally could walk with a smile on my face.
I had the most wonderful pregnancy you can wish for, no morning sickness, no cramps, no bleeding, no nothing – just a tiny bean that was happily growing inside of me.
I will give you some pregnancy impressions in the posts to come so stay with me if you like to read more.
After 6 weeks in pink clouds and the most happy state I ever have been in with visits to the ultrasound, hearing a tiny heartbeat, seeing already arms and legs on a tiny embryo I started to bleed a bit.
That can happen and doesn’t mean something bad is going to follow.
In our case unfortunately something bad followed.
“There is no heartbeat!”
These words were touching me again at the core of my being like the positive test I held in my hand 6 weeks earlier – only this time it wasn’t the happy touch but the sad touch.
Our baby has no heartbeat anymore – we won’t have a baby boy or girl at the end of November around my own birthday, why is this happening, did I something wrong, is it my fault, all these thoughts were running wildly through my mind while my husband was asking what we need to do now, how will it go on, the little embryo cannot remain in my belly.
You get options and from the first second it was clear for me that there is only one option for me – let my body do the work. It’s a complete natural process and I didn’t want to go to a hospital, get a surgery with all those risks, I wanted the natural way to be sure everything else is still there and nobody cuts too much.
As we surely knew already then that this is not the end of our baby story and that a new pregnancy happens often soon afterwards this decision was easy made.
The coming weeks weren’t easy but worth it. I had time to let go, time to give my body the rest it needs, time to recover, physically and psychically.
After the so called little birth we went to the gynecologist to check if all is fine and yes, it was.
I have to say that I’m really proud of my body. A human body is a wonder, it can do much much more than we imagine. We should trust our bodies more often instead of going the way which looks easier. The little nest was empty, all that belonged to our baby was gone but the nest was still there and ready to be filled again.
This thought of having built a tiny cosy nest for a sibling was easing my mind and made sense. Our baby was surely not OK, otherwise it would’ve stayed to grow but it had a very important task in his/her life – it prepared a home for a brother or sister to settle in.
We weren’t trying trying like many couples do when they want to start a family shortly after the wedding.
What we did is to just see what happens – what’s meant to be will happen when the time is right.
And then there comes a day when you think something is not normal and maybe a pregnancy test could be the answer. The answer was pink, two pink stripes on a test. I was standing in front of it in disbelief.
Is it really real?
Is there seriously a human being growing inside of me?
Are we ready?
You can think you are ready but once you see these two little stripes you start to question everything all over again.
37 years old and you start to question everything you are – am I really prepared to be a mother, am I capable of taking care until the end of my life, will I be able to give enough love to a child, am I good enough, is that really what we want right now or is it too early or shouldn’t we have started earlier and are already too old?
I tried to calm down and made a couple of tests just to be sure my eyes weren’t tricking me, which she surely didn’t.
The next question is how to tell my husband – there are thousands of ideas you will find on Pinterest but who has time to prepare something like that when you just found out yourself and the next thing you would like to do is shouting it out of the window so that everyone knows how happy you are?
What I managed as my husband wasn’t home is to walk to a children’s shop nearby and buy a pair of really tiny socks. The pregnancy test safely in my bag I walked to the café nearby where we had a date (yes, husband and wife and still dates for a coffee, it is possible).
My husband ordered a coffee for me and I was patiently waiting for it to be on the table as I wasn’t trusting myself in regards to emotions and the last I wanted is to burst out in tears (even if these would be tears of happiness) in front of a waitress.
The coffee was served and I pulled out the baby socks out of the bag behind my back.
“I need to tell you something…today at home I was so curious because I’m a bit overdue as you know…so I bought a couple of days ago…eeehm…what I mean is…I made a test. And…”.
I gave him the tiny socks and tears were welling up in my eyes when I saw his expression on his face.
Here we are – two adult persons sitting in a café – touched at the core of our beings by a very very very tiny being hidden inside of me.
A moment to keep in my mind for the rest of my life.
At this moment all these questions were answered – we ARE parents, whatever comes we will be able to handle it together as a family.
(What we didn’t knew by then is that sooner than we could imagine indeed had to handle a situation that wasn’t on our radar at all but that’s another story.)