In anticipation of the millions of wool shops and mounds of yarn, I actually took an EMPTY suitcase which I intended to fill to the brim with wool and knitting needles from Italy......
Number of wool shops found : NONE
Number of shaken (shook?!) heads when asking for wool shops : MANY
Number of small haberdashery shops with one small basket of wool : ONE
Number of balls of wool from basket purchased and brought home : TEN
(TEN!! Ten frigging balls of wool in the whole of Italy - and no choice of colours or types - just TEN BALLS!!)
But, I was so excited after two weeks of total withdrawal to finally find the shop with the wool, that I grabbed every ball they had in the basket.
Saleslady to me : "You no can take-a all the wool-a"
Me to saleslady : "Oh yes-a I can-a"
Saleslady : "NAW, leave for nother signora"
Me : "F**k nother signora, I want it ALL"
Saleslady : "NAW!!!!!!! macaronispaggettiraviollitagliatelli* (*unintelligible stream of Italian)"
Me : Grabbing handsful of wool "Give me this NOW"
Saleslady : "Half-a now, half-a tomorrow"
Me : "W-T-F????"
Saleslady : "Mama Mia ....!!!"
Me : "Mama flipping MIA ....!!!"
So, I bought half the balls then, and had to make a return trip the next day to buy the rest - which, lucky for the saleslady, was still there!!
And this is what all the fuss was about (there are 4 balls of the reddish ones) :
Oh yes, and the ONE pair of double pointed needles they had - twice as long as normal - I am not sure if I will ever actually USE them, but I HAD to have them too!!