Romeo & Juliet, Verona
"Juliet lives here, write to her!" So it says in five languages, right above her mailbox. Evidently people have been writing to Juliet for years, and the letters are answered by her volunteer "secretaries" who are members of the Juliet Club in Verona.
There is even a contest every year in February (on Valentine's Day) to choose the most moving and heartfelt letters. And on September 16th every year they celebrate Juliet's birthday.
Second photo: "Cara Giulietta" -- for those who don't like to write letters with pen and paper, there are four computers in her house so people can write to her in Italian or English. These are obviously historic computers from a bygone century, the twentieth.
This is it, Juliet's original, absolutely genuine bed.
Not from the fourteenth century, of course, but from the twentieth, when it was built and used for the love scene in Zeffirelli's film Romeo and Juliet in 1968.
This film won two Oscars, for the Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. Zeffirelli was also nominated for Best Director, and the film was nominated for Best Picture, but both of these awards actually went to Oliver!, directed by Carol Reed, which was a musical based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
Second photo: Next to Juliet's bed is a printed explanation and a photo from Zeffirelli's film.
Okay, so Juliet might have been a fictional character, but that didn't stop her from having a house and a balcony. Supposedly this house really did belong to a 14th century Veronese family which just might have been one of the families Shakespeare had in mind when he wrote Romeo and Juliet in 1594.
All sorts of lovely people from all over the world come here to take photos of Juliet's balcony with their digital cameras.
Update 2011: You can now hear Juliet singing a few bars of Gounod’s opera Roméo et Juliette from this very balcony in the Arena’s flash mob video on YouTube.
Second photo: More young people taking photos in all directions.
Third photo: More tourists in the courtyard. There is a small museum in Juliet's house, but young couples usually save half the price of admission because just the girl goes in so she can stand on the balcony while her boyfriend takes a picture of her from down in the courtyard.
Fourth photo: Looking down at the courtyard. The red chairs on the terrace are for spectators who come to see an abridged version of – you guessed it – Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Fifth photo: View from one of the upper windows of Juliet's house. That's Castel San Pietro in the background.
After encountering amazing numbers of tourists at Juliet's House, I expected there would also be crowds at her tomb -- or at least four or five lovelorn teen-age girls of various nationalities gazing photogenically at the tomb and barely holding back their tears.
But no, I had the place to myself when I was there, which I guess just goes to show that most tourists are more selective about their sightseeing than I am.
A grave? O no! a lantern, slaughter'd youth,
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
This vault a feasting presence full of light.
Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Fourth photo: No, this is not Juliet, just a nude statue of somebody else that is on display in the small museum upstairs from her tomb.
Fifth photo: The site of Juliet's tomb was used by the ancient Romans for rubbish disposal, so numerous amphora (jugs) have been found there. Evidently these were thrown away because they got rancid after oil had been stored in them for a long time.
In the old town section of Verona on via Capello, there are many medieval era buildings. In one there is a small balcony overlooking a courtyard with a statue of Juliet. Of course, this is now the Juliet's Balcony and all things star crossed. We found it rather comical that so many people had to rub Juliet's exposed right boob. It is what it is...
There is no proof that a Capuleti (Capulet) family ever lived here (or if they did, that a young girl named Juliet ever existed), and it wasn't until 1905 that the city bought what was an abandoned, overgrown garden and decided its future. Rumor is that this was once actually a whorehouse.
So powerful is the legend of Juliet that over half a million tourists flock here every year to visit the simple courtyard and home that are considerably less affluent-looking than the sumptuous Franco Zeffirelli version as you may remember it (the movie was filmed in Tuscany)
The curious might want to fork over the entrance fee to see the spartan interior of the 13th-century home, restored in 1996. Ceramics and furniture on display are authentic of the era but did not belong to Juliet's family -- if there ever was a Juliet at all. No one is willing to confirm (or deny) that the balcony was added to the palazzo as recently as 1928 (though that doesn't stop many a young lass from posing on it, staring dreamily at the sky).
Everyone wants to see the famous balcony, and it is just a few minutes walk from the arena, so it is easy. Along the street are shops and there will be plenty of tourists, but soon you walk to the left through the portal and there on the right, hangs the balcony.
You can do as I did and step back and take it all in, watching the tourists come out on the balcony to have their picture taken. There is a few benches to rest, and then you can enter the door and proceed up to the balcony.
Be sure and "rub" the breast of Juliet for good luck.
Inside there is a nice museum including clothing of that era, and you can use the Verona Card to gain entrance.
Historians agree that this house is not the true house of Juliet, but that won't stop the tourists and most people agree that the balcony probably is a good replica, worth photographing.
Casa di Giulietta - (The House of Juliet) is also in the city center. The romantic marble balcony at Villa Capuleti where Romeo supposedly climbed is in fact in a restored 13th century inn. The house on #27 Via Cappello is not linked to the romantic legend of Romeo and Juliet at all but is a popular tourist attraction.
The play, Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare, was based in Verona. One of Shakespeare's early comedies was titled The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The play, The Taming of the Shrew, also by Shakespeare, is based in Verona.
Verona's most popular site is the balcony said to be Juliet's in Romeo and Juliet. The house said to be Juliet's house is in a courtyard off Via Capello. You can see the balcony and the bronze statue of Juliet for free (you can also rub Juliet's breast for good luck). The 13th century house is a good example of Gothic architecture and inside is a museum with period furniture.
Visiting hours: 8am-7pm
closed on Monday
It's a wonderful place that transmitted its ancient emotions in a special way. It seems to live there the atmosphere and the passion of Romeo & Juliet. Its perhaps one of the most romantic places in the world. This place it's also a part of the setting of one of the most important Shakespeare' s play.
Another interesting and curious thing to do here is to engrave your name on the Lovers' Terrace to be part forever of Verona history. It's particularly recommended for lovers and for others events like Valentine' s day.
The place is must when you visit Verona, but you might be disapointed cause the place is full of persons, mostly giggling young girls, and the love notes have been stuck by chewing gum into walls. Looks disgusting! And the statue in the garden. Stories tell that touching the girls breast brings the love, but the touch should be genttle, not push like the most one are doing.
But look up, forget the walls and rogues, just think about love, the youngs and future!
Romeo, Romeo, where forth art thou Romeo?
Probably third in line behind the American and French guys getting their picture taken rubbing the right breast of Juliet's statue. It is suppose to bring you luck and since she's bronze, she won't slap you.
The legendary lovers famed balcony has become a must see stop for tourists visiting Verona. It doesn't matter if they were fictional characters and the balcony was built in the 1930's to provide photo seeking tourists with a photo op, it's fun to dream and imagine Juliet peering out from the balcony waiting for her lover to appear.
Today, you can stop in the courtyard and see the statue, leave a love note and just give your own Juliet a little hug and kiss as the lovers would have done.
Juliet's house houses a small museum and temporary art exhibitions. All the frescoes, paintings, and ceramics on display are genuine antiques from the 16th and 17th century, however, none of them have ever belonged to the Capulets.
Unlike Juliet's house, the house which is said to have been that of her Romeo has not yet been turned into a tourist attraction. In fact, it's a nice but fairly non-descript house sitting a few steps away from Piazza dei Signori, on Via Arche Scaligere, in the same neighborhood as Juliet's house. The only way you can recognize it is thanks to a plaque on the wall that includes some lines from Shakespeare's play, starting with "O, where is Romeo?". The house is believed to have once belonged to the Montecchi family, which apparently was similar enough to make a connection with Shakespeare's Montagues. I must admit that I was suprised to see how little attention was being paid to Romeo's house, especially with all the hype surrounding the Casa di Giulietta. I wouldn't be surprised if the situation were to change eventually, seems like such a good opportunity to keep the legend alive!
Here's a site that's as strange as it is unique. The monastery of San Francesco al Corso is first and foremost a small museum (Museo degli Affreschi) that houses different religious paintings, frescoes and sculptures. However, most visitors just breeze through the museum in order to see the crypt that contains Juliet's tomb. Just like it was the case with Juliet's house, rumours somehow started floating around that the church of San Francesco al Corso was where Romeo and Juliet had gotten married, and that the two lovers came to their untimely end shortly after their wedding day in the monastery's crypt. It's common knowledge that the tomb described as Juliet's only dates back to 1937 and that it was most probably added after the success of the 1936 "Romeo and Juliet" movie starring Leslie Howard as Romeo, Norma Shearer as Juliet, and John Barrymore as Mercutio. But that doesn't stop people from all around the world from paying their respect to Giulietta, or lovers from getting married at the church of San Francesco al Corso (there was effectively a wedding going on when we were there).
Well... it's included in the Verona Card, so why not?!
About a century before William Shakespeare wrote the play "Romeo and Juliet", there already was a story going around Italy about two young lovers coming to a tragic end. Luigi da Porto was the first author to set the story in Verona and to name its main characters Romeo and Giulietta. The building that stands at No. 23 Via Cappello dates back to the 12th century and once belonged to the Capello family, which people began associating with the name Capuleti, and thus a new legend was born. "Juliet's house" is now one of the most visited sites in all of Verona. People come to profess their love on Juliet's wall by leaving letters, post-its or graffitis. In the lovely inner courtyard, it's also possible to see Juliet's balcony and a bronze statue of Juliet - if you're wondering why her right breast is so shiny, it's because people believe that touching it will make you lucky in love.
Most people don't bother going inside the house, but as it was included in the Verona Card I went in to take a look. There are some Romeo & Juliet movie props on display, along with different editions of Shakespeare's play. There are computers available if you want to send an e-mail to Juliet (who knew she'd gotten so modern!), and of course you can get your picture taken on Juliet's balcony. It also gives you a nice idea of what a medieval house in Verona looks like from the inside.
The Capulet, or Capuletti, family was engaged in a bitter power struggle with the Montecchi, or Montague, family. Dante lived in Verona about the time of their feud, which he alludes to in his Divine Comedy. Legends about two star-crossed lovers from these families have been bandied about since the 14th century; Shakespeare borrowed from them to write Romeo and Juliet.
The Capulet house has a balcony, specially constructed to replicate the famous one in Shakespeare's play. It's a tourist attraction, and while not quite authentic, certainly worth a visit if you're in a romantic mood.