Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Our finale weekend in Italy

What did we do during our last weekend in Italy? We shopped, ate all the nice pizzas and pastas that we know we're gonna miss, bid farewell to the owners of the restaurants we frequent, drove up the mountain for night sky gazing and just enjoy the fresh, cold air here.

We started our outing on Saturday at Lindt Chocolate Factory, buying some chocolates back to Singapore for friends.

There's this super big Lindt bear outside the factory outlet, I must take a pic with it! But erm, I look as if I'm surrendering to the bear. 

Christmas-y decor inside the factory outlet.

Heh heh.. I bought something else other than chocolates in the factory outlet. Introducing Trudi! The cutie sea lion.

I also love the pretty red jacket I'm wearing, newly bought in Varese. Heehee.

For dinner that night, we went to one of our favourite restaurants - Ristorante Pizzeria Da Enzo. Their pastas and pizzas are awesome and the boss is very nice and friendly. Sometimes, the boss will offer us some specialty alcohol like Limoncello or Bananacello after our meal. We chatted with the boss and told him that this was our last visit to Enzo as we will be returning to Singapore next week. Hubby and I felt quite emotional after we left the place.

Since it's our last visit to Enzo, we decided to indulge and ordered their Lobster Linguine! Actually, I dun think it's very ex for 16 Euros. The lobster meat was super fresh, sweet and succulent! Absolutely thumbs up for this dish!

The boss helped hubby to tie the napkin around his neck to prevent the Lobster sauce from splashing onto his clothes.. Hubby said he look funny with the napkin Lol..

After our dinner we went night sky gazing at Schiaparelli Astronomical Society, which is located up in the mountains in Varese. It started with a briefing to give a background of the Observatory. It was conducted in Italian, but we were okay because we had previously joined the day tour so we already had some information about it.

The highlight came when we were asked to go out into the chilly open space for night sky gazing. It was super cold and windy, but it was worth it! We didn't take any pictures at all because it was too dark there and we were too cold to shoot anything.

Our excellent guides Luca and Federica showed us how to identify the constellations in the night sky. It was amazing! We saw the Big Dipper (a pot shaped constellation that consists of 7 stars), and Federica told us that one end of the Big Dipper points towards the North Star. The position of the North Star does not change, so it will always be in the north direction. Hubby was excited that we're able to see the Big Dipper and the North Star because they cannot be seen from the equator.

I also learnt how to identify the Orion belt (a straight line of 3 stars) of a warrior, and its shoulders and feet. Through the telescope, we saw M-42 nebula just beside the Orion Belt! The telescope showed a spot of cloudy matter which was the M-42 nebula.

I saw the eye of Taurus! My horoscope! Heehee. And Gemini. Gemini constellation has 2 stars side by side which represent the head and further down, there's another 2 stars side by side which represent the feet.

Then, we used a telescope to see Andromeda galaxy! It showed up as a clutter of faint lights in the telescope. It totally cannot be seen with our naked eyes.

It was almost full moon when we were there. So we couldn't see some of the faint stars. Luca told us that if there's no moon, we could actually see the milky way with our naked eyes!

Next, we went into an Observatory dome to use a larger telescope to see the Jupiter. We could see a round moon-like Jupiter in the telescope with 3 small spots around it. The small spots are Jupiter's biggest moons.

Luca told us that during the winter months this year, the bright spot that we can see at 11 pm is Jupiter. We will only be able to see Saturn during the wee hours of the day at 5am O.o I'm not gonna wake up so early la. He also told us that the bright spot we can see during sunset is Venus.

If we want to see Saturn during the night time at around 11pm, we will have to wait till spring or summer. We thought it should be interesting to see Saturn because it has a beautiful ring around it. Too bad, we missed it.

So, the bright spot we saw in this sunset photo is Venus!

Okay, that's about all the information I remembered. The night star gazing ended at 11pm. We were tired but had a fruitful night!

On Sunday, we just went to Vicolungo outlets for last minute shopping, and had our dinner at I Fontanili, which is located in a restored manor. The ambience is superb and they serve really delicious pizzas. We will miss the Italian pizzas when we are back in Singapore. We seldom see really delicious Italian pizzas in Singapore.

My emotional write up now. I have been here in Italy for 11 months already. Finally, it's the time to say goodbye to Italy. I felt really emotional about leaving here, especially when we bid goodbye to the owners of the restaurants which we frequent. The bosses at some of these restaurants are really friendly and helpful. I remember there was once when we nearly missed our flight as we got the wrong timing of the shuttle bus to the airport, and we approached the boss of Ristorante China Long and he immediately sent us to the airport. We are so grateful to him, even till now. He will also give us some discounts or free fruits as desserts. I think such hospitality and closeness between the patrons and the owner of the restaurant is seldom seen in Singapore. But it's these little things that make us return to these restaurants because we felt at home there.

This morning I bid goodbye to the cleaner auntie as it will be her last time cleaning my apartment. She always tried to start a conversation with me although there's language barrier between us. I like that she always say that I'm "bella" (bella means pretty ^-^). Today, before she left, we hugged and said goodbye. She kept asking if I will be coming back and I said "No." 我的心又酸了一下。

Of course, we're also reluctant to leave this little apartment of our own, the beautiful scenery here and this cold cold weather.

Okay, the happy thing about going back is to meet friends and family! But, at the same time, I love the freedom I have here. I'm experiencing the 百感交集 feel now.

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