First off, I explored Lucca with the bride and groom. It's a walled city and cars aren't allowed in. We had a nice lunch and tiramisu while the rains came down, then we walked. We just strolled through the city heading towards the center plaza. A few block in, I looked in a window and saw sock yarn. "I must stop here." The bride was more than happy to pick some yarn for me to make her something and the groom entertained himself politely. I got some lace weight-1400 yards for 4 euros! Hello, that's like a third of what I pay in the US. Also, some self striping mohair for myself. The store has been there for over 60 years and they make most of the yarns in the city. We continued walking and hit the wall on the opposite side of town, then walked along the wall on our way back to our car. Later that day we drive to the coast and saw the mountains, stopped for gelati and heading back, with a rainbow following us.
Later in the week, I went to Florence, with this family. We had a great time exploring the Duomo, that plaza, that bridge. We sat down to lunch, I looked up, and there was a knitting store!! I met Beatrice, the sweetest shop owner. We had a laugh over the pregnancy language barrier. She asked me how longer I had and I thought she asked how far along was I. I told her 6 months, she said, "no, no, no." It was then I realized that's what most Italians had been asking, and we say the opposite, I wondered why they looked at me funny. I found the softest most amazing merino wool, blue for a sweater for Butters and pink heathered for a sweater for the bump. This was a bit more of a splurge, it's a larger city and a very popular area. But, it was worth it!
Here's what I knitted on the way to, in and on the way home from this amazing country. A new wedding shawl. I told Maria I'd bring my wedding shawl for her to wear and I couldn't find it! I started this on the day I left and tried my hardest to make it work, but I failed. The bright pink middle photo is a fuzzy feet slipper sock, to be felted. The last is the Zimmerman February Sweater in a lilac-y pink from Nature's Palate.