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In the Footsteps of Romeo and Juliet

Wherefore art thou Romeo”, the famous immortal line from William Shakespeare’s timeless play “Romeo and Juliet”, is expressing Juliet’s longing for her love, Romeo, a member of the rival Montague family. The play unfolds in Verona, Italy, amid the longstanding feud between the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite their families’ hostility, Romeo falls in love with the beautiful maiden of Capulet. The deep-seated enmity between the two families ultimately led to the tragic end for two star-crossed lovers. Still, the timeless romantic ambiance of Verona, as depicted by Shakespeare, continues to captivate readers worldwide, despite the play being written over a century ago.

Get to know Verona
Verona, a compact city situated in the Veneto region on the northeastern side of Italy. With its rich history dating back to Roman times, the well-preserved ancient structures, including Roman temples and charming brick-and-stone houses, are evidence of its enduring beauty. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Verona thrives with lively streets, friendly inhabitants, and a welcoming atmosphere. Strolling through its orderly adorned streets, with a clear river running through the center and picturesque hills in the distance, feels like navigating a meticulously crafted set.

Before gaining fame through the love story of Romeo and Juliet, Verona was somewhat overlooked as it stood in the shadow of the larger nearby city of Venice. However, with the frequent staging of Romeo and Juliet as plays and films, it seems like a guidebook attracting numerous travelers to explore its charm, confirming its reputation as one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Visiting Juliet’s House

We may never know if Romeo and Juliet really existed, but arriving in Verona without visiting Juliet’s house would feel incomplete. Located at 27 Via Cappello, commonly known as Casa di Giulietta, the house is believed to be from the medieval era. The balcony on the second floor, where Romeo declared his love to Juliet, is a prominent feature.

Originally owned by the Cappello family in the 13th century, it served as a noble residence before transforming into a hotel and later a tourist attraction. Surprisingly similar to the romantic setting described by Shakespeare, the municipality of Verona decided to purchase and restore the house, including building Juliet’s balcony and bedroom just as depicted in the play. Despite the clear distinction that it is a recreation, the ambiance inside is carefully crafted with antique items from the 16th and 17th centuries, including paintings, artworks, and period furnishings, creating an atmosphere that feels authentically historical.

In the surrounding area, the standout feature is the walls of Juliet’s house, adorned with countless declarations of love from people all over. The belief is that anyone who writes a pledge here will find enduring love. The iconic statue of Juliet, believed to bring good luck in love if you touch her heart, is another attraction. Each day, people queue up to touch this part, giving the statue a well-worn appearance on the chest.

The wall surrounding the house is filled with such heartfelt expressions, leaving virtually no space untouched, as visitors believe that writing at Juliet’s home signifies a lasting love connection. Additionally, the Juliet Club offers a unique opportunity for those seeking advice on matters of the heart. Volunteers at the club respond to letters sent to Juliet, providing guidance, and even sending replies via mail.

The captivating stone architecture in the courtyard resembles a world from another era, making a visit to this place worthwhile, whether you’re drawn to the romantic narrative or simply appreciate the preserved historic atmosphere.

The full version is available in the 5000s magazine issue 55. Subscribe Now.