ONE TIME I HAD TO FLEE VENICE, ITALY

I went to Venice to study architecture on a Rotary Scholarship as a graduate student...
  1. First I did poorly on my Italian exam...
  2. So, I had to extend my studies by first brushing up on Italian in Rome for the summer. Shame.
  3. I went one weekend to Venice to check out my apartment and meet my roommates.
  4. My roommate was extremely formal and the grandson of Mussolini's second in command during the war.
  5. He was also an addict but I didn't know this yet.
  6. I love to cook *reference previous lists, so I went to the market and whipped up a four course meal.
  7. Our apartment was a beautiful crumbling, antiquated building from the 1600's. We were way up with 3 views to the sea and the cruise ships passing through the canal illuminated our dining room window and it is was unreal and majestic and I felt my life was a dream until...
  8. My new roommate said hitler should have killed the whole Sacco de hebrei...and said to me tu sei hebrei??? Which means Hitler should have killed the whole sack of Jews and you are Jewish as a statement/question???
  9. And I am a proud Jew but not a stupid Jew so I turned white and silent.
  10. I was in a foreign country in a beautiful setting and I was scared and confused.
  11. Many months past and as an American it was hard to understand what was a serious threat. Although I had a cross burned in my lawn I had never truly felt threatened. The Holocaust while real was an abstraction to me.
  12. Overtime the threats increased and I had to contact the generous scholarship program and share my experiences.
  13. It turns out Fascism was illegal there but certain organizations in locus were Facist.
  14. The state department was concerned for my safety and I was told I had to leave Venice at once.
  15. I stayed with German friends at first
  16. Then left for Padua where I painted a wacky mural on the outside of a youth hostel there.
  17. Inspired by @tombatten aha I have a story to tell too...