My tiniest and most vulnerable......(and cutes)) nativity comes from Venezia, or Venice I know the English speaking part of the world says.
I came to Venezia for the first time in 1972. I was 14, oldest of four siblings and my parents took us on a month's vacation south in Europe, from Trondheim down to Jesoslo Lido just outside Venezia. A caravan was our home the whole month. One day we went to La Serenissima, and spent the day there. What my parents did not know was that we came there on a public holiday, most shops were closed, but worse, all banks were closed as well, and this was before the credit cards. My father had a small book of traveller´s cheques and needed a bank to change one of them into lires.
It was hot, we did not speak the language, the city was full of people, we had no water and no money.....to make the story short, in the end my dad found a travel agency where they agreed to change his cheque, and all six of us sat down at the nearest café and ordered coffee and coca cola. The nearest café happened to be Florians on St. Mark´s Square, the coffee was two egg cups of espresso, the coca cola came in four bottles which looked like they were taken from a doll house, and the bill came in a fortune.....and of course even more so as it came in Italian lire.
We did not have a lot of money. We were a quite ordinary family, the six of us sitting down at a café for drinks was a very special treat as it were. What I have admired for the years to come, was how my father payed the bill with a smile, and then took us on a gondola ride.
Money which needed to be saved, could be done later!
Since my first visit in 1972, Venezia has become my favorite city of all my favorites. A place I dream of always, a place I visit as often as possible (yes, in 2014 I will be back Mauro xxx)