A remote cottage in the Tuscan countryside sounds like an idyllic place for a romantic getaway, but for Gwyneth Paltrow it was the setting where the cracks in her marriage became hard to ignore.
It was the end of summer and a celebration of her 38th birthday. The small cottage where she and then-husband Chris Martin were holidaying was cosy and romantic, on the edge of a forest. There were long walks and sleep-ins and plenty of Italian wine, but despite the picturesque location, Paltrow remembers knowing her marriage was over.
It was the beginning of what they would, years later, announce as their 'conscious uncoupling'.
Mamamia confessions: When I knew our relationship was over. Post continues below video.
"What I do remember is that it felt almost involuntary, like the ring of a bell that has sounded and cannot be undone," Paltrow wrote in an essay for British Vogue.
"The inadvertent release of a helium balloon into the sky. I tried to quell that knowing, to push it far down. I tried to convince myself it had been a fleeting thought, that marriage is complicated and ebbed and flowed. But I knew it. It was in my bones.