While it is true I have had larger projects as distractions, we’ve wanted to make the most of our time in Italy and explore its many regions. It can get pretty tricky with a 7yo and baby, needing to take into consideration everyone’s needs. We had taken a few trips with the baby, where he was an angel. However, I remember two incidents where we had some difficulty. One hotel where we were on the third floor, with no elevator and he seemed to not want to sleep. He also never seemed to be a beach person, I hoped this to be a phase.
This takes us to our August trip and I received some good recommendations. Why an August trip? Because all of Rome is deserted for good 2+ weeks for Ferragosto. To clarify on what Ferragosto is, the holiday is celebrated on the 15th of August, it was created in Ancient Roman times around 18BC by the Emperor Augustus. It was to celebrate the end of the harvest and for those to take a bit a rest. A time later, the Catholic Church declared this the feast of the Assumption of Mary. Needless to say, in August you get out of Rome because it is hotter than Hades.
As I posted previously, we started in Pienza which was a dream. Oddly, we spent time in the Lake Garda area and it rained, on and off, every day. When it rained, it was an angry rain, when the clouds parted it showed a beautiful region for 15 minutes. The weather was effecting our mood and was a miserable leg of the trip. I silently wished for a fast forward button for the Dolomites segment and where we were staying at a family resort. I had never been to one, but it just sounded like what we needed.
When we drove north through those gorgeous, jaw dropping mountains and seeing all the vineyards, I knew we arrived somewhere very special. However, when I got to the front desk at the Garberhof, I did not know just how special the place truly was. There was something in the air and it was heavenly. We were shown to our family room, it looked worlds better than anything I was expecting. The “room” had two floors, with the bedrooms on the top floor and the views were breathtaking. Each of the boys received a welcome toy and had their own kid sized robes. They also outfitted the place with every item you would need for an infant. Everything from a fully set up “pack and play” with bedding, wipes, to a hooded towel, soaps and a diaper genie. For the 7yo, he discovered “Pinoland” with children his age and some who spoke English. We were excited to meet up with friends from Rome and their boys as well. As for the baby, he had a place in Pinoland, more the baby version–he was quite popular.
Each day was a great start for each of us. We had a nutritious breakfast, made to order. We then took the boys to their activities, which were different everyday. For children 6-14, they did mini golf, rock climbing and rode the cable cars–just to name a few. As for the bambino, he was popular with the staff and talking toddlers who were looking for him. Aside from his popularity, I could see he was in good hands. He toke the long naps he was craving. The team seemed to really coddle him and it warmed my heart. Never was he out of someone’s arms, unless he was sleeping in a special “quiet” room. He napped better there than he had in two weeks! As for us, the first morning I woke up from the most restful sleep I had in months. Clearly they were either pumping something in the vents or put something in my dinner. I was feeling so, I think the word is relaxed, I never wanted it to end. I did not feel bad going to a yoga class, going hiking with my husband or to town of Bruneck for the morning. As for the 7yo, after his day of activities it could be difficult to get him from the Pinoland play area to come to our dinner table. Our dinner table was assigned at the beginning of the week, so we always knew where to find one another. When our two families would finish dinner, the boys would go to “disco night”. To be honest, I was feeling like more and more of an actual adult and loved every second of it.
But, all wonderful trips come to an end.