I went traveling to Italy pregnant and have to say it was a fabulous experience. We hadn’t planned it as an Italy babymoon, as it was booked long before I knew I was pregnant therefore we had tp quickly find out the pros and cons of traveling to Italy while pregnant. In this guide we will round up everything to know about visiting Italy when pregnant, from where to stay, best time to visit and tips such as what you can and can’t eat in Italy when pregnant.
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Traveling to Italy Pregnant Tips and tricks
Speak to your doctor before you travel
Whenever and wherever you are traveling when pregnant you should always consult with your doctor first to get the ok and to get information and advice.
Traveling via public transport
Usually if you are very visibly pregnant, people will give up their seat for you on Italian public transport.
However if you aren’t yet showing it may be useful to know the Italian so you can ask for a seat.
The Italian for this is “Posso sedermi per favore?”
Best Time to Visit Italy when Pregnant
When considering the best time to do a visit Italy pregnant or to do an Italy Babymoon there are actually two timeframes you need to consider:
- the trimester you wish to travel and best time in pregnancy to travel for a babymoon
- the best time to visit Italy in terms of crowds and weather.
So firstly let us consider the best time to travel to Italy while pregnant.
The second trimester is often considered the golden month to travel to pregnant. That is because:
- during the first trimester you are more prone to morning sickness (unless you are like me and are unlucky enough to suffer throughout your pregnancy). If you are flying with morning sickness be sure to check out this guide.
- you tend to, though not guaranteed, have more energy during your second trimester
- you aren’t as big as you will be in your third trimester when you might be more uncomfortable traveling.
Note: Obviously you should always check with your doctor before travel wherever you are going, and follow all their advice about pregnancy travel.
Personally I think the most important consideration for traveling when pregnant is the trimester but given the climate of Italy it is worth considering how the time of year can affect your trip.
Italy in summer is very hot. In particular the South and the cities can become stifling hot which may be uncomfortable when pregnant.
Therefore we recommend trying to visit Italy in the shoulder seasons of Spring or Fall. The climate is much more pleasant and will be easier to travel Italy when pregnant at this time.
I will also say don’t discount doing an Italy babymoon in Winter. In particular Rome in Winter is one of my favorite places and if you visit Rome in December for instance you will be rewarded with fewer crowds.
What to Pack Traveling Italy Pregnant
Firstly the most important things to take whenever you travel pregnant are medication and ointments that you require such as:
- Medicines, Folic Acid and PreNatal Vitamins that you take – no one wants to have to dash to a pharmacy to stock up on essentials
- Medical Notes and Documents – no one wants to need these when traveling but it is always worth carrying them with you.
- bio oil / Coconut Butter – or any ointments or lotions you use on your tummy to try and prevent stretch marks
- sunscreen – you skin is more sensitive when pregnant so be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen with a high SPF factor.
- Anti-Chafe Balm – for your thighs in the heat
- Panty Liners for sweat
If you forget anything from the above list, your best chance of finding them in Italy is at a pharmacy.
We also recommend packing a reusable water bottle if you are visiting Italy at any time of year.
So now you know what you should pack, what should you wear to Italy pregnant?
At a minimum we recommend:
- Comfy shoes – for walking
- Maternity Swimwear – if your Italian accommodation has a pool or you are heading to a beach resort such as in Sicily or Puglia for instance
- Maternity dress – for cute pictures and also if you plan to eat out as Italians do tend to dress for dinner
- compression socks – if you are flying into Italy.
Also please remember if you want to visit an Italian church that there is a conservative dress code that applies even to pregnant travelers.
For more information for what to pack when traveling pregnant check out this post.
Eating in Italy while Pregnant
Can you eat cheese in Italy while pregnant?
Italy has, in my opinion some of the world’s best cheese. However, the problem Ifound when I traveled to Italy pregnant was that not all Italian cheese is pasteurised.
Pregnant women are advised against eating pasteurised cheese due to the risk of getting listeria. Therefore if you are unsure about a cheese you should not eat or or be sure to ask the waiting staff whether it is pasteurised or not.
You ca do this by simply saying “pastorizzato” or “è tutto pastorizzato”.
Some cheeses you may want to avoid as they may not be pasteurised are:
- cheeses with white rind
- dolce latte
- Gorgonzola (blue cheese)
But I strongly advise you check before eating to be 100% certain it is safe.
Can I drink Italian Wine when pregnant?
Italian is renowned for having some of the world’s greatest wines. However drinking wine, even Italian wine when pregnant is a big no no.
Globally pregnant women are told not to drink alcohol when pregnant so don’t do it when traveling.
Can I eat Italian Cured Meats when pregnant?
Cured Meats are as the name suggests cured rather than being cooked which are therefore not recommend for pregnant travelers.
Some famous Italian cured meats include:
It meats are only cured and not cooked these should be avoided when traveling to Italy pregnant.
Can I eat carpaccio / crudi?
Both of these are meat and fish served raw so are best avoided when pregnant.
Can I eat Gelato while pregnant?
Now usually and especially in modern shops in Italy with modern equipment gelato will be pasteurised. However it is worth checking before eating.
To ask all you need to say is”è tutto pastorizzato” and staff will be able to advise on the process.
And if in doubt or if you are worried about asking in Italian stick to sorbets as this won’t have the same issues involving pasteurisation as this is made without dairy.
Can I eat Carbonara while pregnant?
Carbonara is one of my all time favorite Italian dishes but it is worth avoiding when in Italy pregnant as the dish contains raw egg.
Instead choose to eat more tomato based pastas.
Although I love Italian swordfish and marlin etc, I avoid these when pregnant. That is because larger fish eating fish have large amounts of Mercury in them and therefore consumption should be limited. To be safe I saved this treat for when I returned to Italy with our baby
Can I drink Italian Coffee when pregnant
Coffee is not a no no but it is certainly advised to limit caffeine consumption while pregnant as it is connected to low birth rates. Italy has some of the world’s best coffee. I advise drinking this in moderation as your doctor advises when in Italy
Can I eat cannoli pregnant?
Whether or not you can ear cannoli pregnant safely will depend on whether the cannoli has a ricotta filling which has been pasteurised or not.
Be sure to check before eating or avoid all together.
Can I eat Tiramisu pregnant?
Some tiramisu in Italian can contain raw egg so it is important to check with your waiter about how it is made or to be safe steer clear of this while pregnant.
Best things to do in Italy when pregnant
There are so many things to do Italy even when pregnant, from world famous attractions to Italian hidden gems that there are too many to list here. However some of my favorite things to do are listed below:
Hit a Museum
Italy has some of the best museums in the world from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to the Vatican Museums in Rome.
While museums aren’t a no no with babies and toddlers, some of the Italian museums and art galleries would be difficult to enjoy with very small children. Therefore take this chance to hit some of the more grown up museums.
Enjoy the food
While I have listed above what looks to be a giant list of things you can’t eat, I assure you that the complexity and diversity of Italian cookery means there are plenty of foods that you can still enjoy.
Be sure to check out some of the fine dining establishments that Italy has on offer.
Take a cooking class
And don’t stop there, why not learn to cook some Italian food. Cookery classes are great with kids, but they need to be a few years older to enjoy and be safe.
Therefore take advantage of doing this while you still can.
Soak up some history
Italy has some great historic sites. One of my favourites has to be Pompeii which while possible to do with a stroller, is more difficult.
Take this chance to explore some of the archaeological and historic sites.
Wander a city
A European City break with a baby or a city break with a toddler is a wonderful thing. However it is quite different from a city break that you as a couple. Be sure to enjoy a city on your visit to Italy and enjoy simply wandering the streets and soaking up the Italian atmosphere.
Hit the beach
Although more renowned for great cities, Italy has some fantastic beaches. From the beautiful beaches of the Amalfi Coast, Puglia or the beaches on the Island of Sicily (most recently featured in Season 2 of the White Lotus) there are many great Italian beaches you can enjoy when visiting Italy pregnant.
Have you traveled to Italy pregnant? We would love to hear what you did and how you found it in the comments