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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
The Sun

Residents like sharing travel experiences


Published:   |   Updated: July 3, 2014 at 11:49 AM

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Freedom Plaza residents are always delighted to have their nonresident neighbors join them on their frequent outings. Sometimes these guests are friends of residents; sometimes they’re people who simply want to go along. All are welcome.

However, most Freedom Plaza excursions fill fast and as guests are included on a space-available basis, they miss out on some interesting jaunts. Thus, sharing information here about trip experiences seems like the neighborly thing to do.

The group of residents who recently traveled to Bradenton to see the Da Vinci Machines Exhibition were not quite sure what to expect. But they were elated with what they found.

Like almost everyone, they knew Leonardo Da Vinci as the painter of the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. They knew also that he was a tinkerer who loved designing and building machines. What they didn’t realize was the extent of his mechanical brilliance.

Through a 45-minute movie and an hour-long guided tour, plus exploring the book and artifact display on their own, they came away enlightened and more than ever in awe of this Renaissance genius. They will never again view a helicopter or numerous other modern machines without remembering that they originated some 500 years ago in Da Vinci’s miraculous mind.

For information on this worthwhile visit, call the Bradenton Auditorium and South Florida Museum at (841) 209-1236. The exhibition runs through Monday.

Just a few days after their enlightenment about Italy’s Leonardo Da Vinci, Freedom Plaza travelers found themselves again exploring things Italian, this time its cuisine…but not at just any Italian restaurant. This was at Oh, Mamma Mia! in Sarasota. Upon arrival they were greeted warmly by its owner, Giuseppe Urbano, originally from Milan, Italy, and former chef of Freedom Plaza. Five years ago he left that position to follow a dream of owning his own restaurant and his Freedom Plaza friends have followed him in an annual pilgrimage to his establishment.

Giuseppe, “Joe,” prepares a five-course dinner for his Freedom Plaza guests on a Monday evening when the restaurant is normally closed, with members of his family sometimes acting as servers. After seating everyone, he announces in his melodious Italian accent, “Now, I cook for you!” Diners watch via a large, flat-screen television as he prepares their food, then relish it with proper Italian gusto.

Should you care to experience this dining adventure, call (941) 706-2821.

Please do join Freedom Plaza residents for excursions whenever possible. Watch this column for information. In the meantime, “Viaggio piacivole” – pleasant journeys of your own.

Peggy Burgess is an associate of Freedom Plaza and columnist for The Sun.

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