Venice comes to Monte-Carlo

Unique as is Monte-Carlo, I never expected to see a real Venetian Carnival take place in this most unusual city as is described in this article. By American standards, Italy is so close to Monaco, so why bother to re-create the special event? Well, why not. It will be fun to the 13th power, and I’m sure quite extravagant. I’d really like to be there–wouldn’t you?

Monte-Carlo today certainly isn’t the same city Max grew up in. The Monte-Carlo he knew as a boy was filled with lovely villas, not skyscrapers. It was a small town. He knew the Chief of Police, the Chief of Detectives, the Executive Chef of the famous Hotel de Paris. He knew the owners of banks, the shopkeepers, the owners of the bakeries and food stores. His father owned the Knickerbocker, an exclusive nightclub and had two other clubs as well. As a small child, he met Winston Churchill who was staying at a house near his godfather’s on the French Riviera. Josephine Baker stayed at his parents’ villa while entertaining at one of the clubs. Max knew the owners of the nearby limousine service in Beausoleil who would later help him immensely during World War II. The couple also owned a travel agency in Monaco. Max went on a diving trip with other kids organized by Cousteau–yes, the same Cousteau who invented the aqua-lung–and also had a private tutor who taught him to ski, to fence, shoot a rifle, ride horses, play tennis, swim as well as learn German and Italian and normal subjects learned by a boy between the ages of three and seven.

Yes, Max lived a very different life from what I lived growing up in Long Beach, CA, and going to public school. Probably different from your life, too. What he learned with his tutor followed by a fine Jesuit education in Nice coupled with the people he knew because of the milieu in which he grew up in Monaco–these are some of the reasons why he survived the war and is alive today. And for this I am so grateful.

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