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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The eternal love story that never grows old

Today I want to take to one of my favorite cities near Venice :  the very romantic Verona.
Verona is one of the most beautiful cities of the north of Italy in my opinion. A walk around the city is like stepping back in time. 
The historic city of Verona today contains elements representing its 2,000 year history: the Roman period, Romanesque, Middle Ages and Renaissance which have survived intact until the 19th century.  Although Verona’s buildings suffered significant damage during World War II, the post-war reconstruction plan (1946) maintained its original structure and the reconstruction process was carried out with utmost care.
There are many things to see in Verona, like the Arena, the Roman amphitheater, the Castle Scaligeri, the Castelvecchio, the Piazza delle Erbe, the Lamberti's Tower, the Verona Cathedral. 
And of my favourite attraction, is for sure  the ‘Casa di Giulietta’ or ‘Juliet’s House’ the home of one of Shakespeare’s favourite, though decidedly unlucky, heroines. 
La Casa di Giulietta), Via Cappello (just off the Piazza delle Erbe) is supposedly the location of the famous balcony love scene from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The house is a major destination for tourists, as the tiny courtyard is normally packed with lovestruck teenagers photographing each other on the famous balcony. Being there done that and I hope you will do it too.
However, did you know?
1. Juliet never lived here, she is a fictional character and never ‘lived’ anywhere.

2. The house was bought from the Cappello family by the city of Verona in 1905, and the similarity of their name to Capulet (Juliet’s surname in the famous play) resulted in the city burgher’s declaring that it was ‘Juliet’s House’ and so the famous tourist attraction was created.
3. Tiny love notes cover the courtyard walls. It is said that if you leave a declaration of your love at Juliet’s House you will be together forever.
4. However, thanks to people sticking their notes up with chewing gum and damaging the structure of the building, if you stick a note there now you can be fined 500 euros!
5. If you touch the right breast of the statue of Juliet, it will bring you luck in finding your own true love. Perhaps a safer option than love notes today.
6. People still write letters to Juliet, asking for her advice in love. A team of volunteer ‘Juliet’s secretaries’ answer them. They work out of an upstairs room in the house.
7. The house, and letters became the subject of a film ‘Letters to Juliet’ starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave.
8. The house does in fact date from the 14th century, and is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture.
9. You can see the famous balcony where Juliet stood as Romeo serenaded her.
10. The balcony is not however an original feature of the house, a former inn, but was cobbled together from pieces of a 17th century sarcophagus, and attached to the wall specifically to provide Juliet’s House with a balcony
11. The rooms are filled with authentic pieces from the time of Romeo and Juliet, allowing you to really get an idea of life in a well to do house in Verona in their lifetime.
So, if Juliet lived here, what about Romeo? A couple of streets away the house at 4, Via Arche Scaligere has been designated as his home. It is private, so other than a sign on the wall there is nothing much to see unfortunately.
Each year, thousands of people visit Juliet’s House, and real or not, it’s a beautiful place to visit on a romantic break. 
I guess we all want to believe in fairy tales of an eternal love story......I surely do!!
From Venice With Love,

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