Saturday, 5 June 2010

Juliet's balcony

After a very relaxing and hot week we are back in the UK. We stayed in the lakes region of Italy which is incredibility beautiful but also expensive (even by Italian standards) While we were there we took a trip into Verona and visited the only literary connection of our holiday; Juliet's balcony.

Juliet's balcony is located in a small courtyard just off one of the main shopping streets in the city of Verona. To get to the balcony visitors must walk through a stone tunnel leading to the courtyard. The tunnel is covered with graffiti and post-it notes all covered with beautiful declarations of love such as 'Sharon & Ross 4 ever'

The courtyard is quite small and located there in the far corner is the famous balcony where Juliet called “Romeo Romeo where for art thou Romeo?” and a statue of Juliet herself beneath it. The courtyard was very crowded and busy which isn't really clear from the photo taken. I also noticed that people who were posing for photographs next to the statue of Juliet were fondling her breasts (it certainly looked like it anyway) I later found out that local tradition dictates if you rub Juliet's right breast then you will find a new lover within the year, I'm glad I found this out as it really did look very odd otherwise.

So what connects this balcony to the fictional character of Juliet? Not a lot. There were two families who lived in Verona named the Cappellettis and the Montecchis (later changed by Shakespeare to Capulet and Montague) but there is little evidence to suggest that that the Cappellettis ever set foot here. The house was brought by the Veronese authoriries in 1936 after George Cukor's oscar winning production of Romeo & Juliet. They then “restored” the balcony. There are various other tourist destinations scattered around the city all allegedly linked to Romeo and Juliet and all equally bogus. The original story was fictional so why not the props as well?

The balcony does however look the part and while there are far bigger and better things to see in Verona, its a nice little spot to take a photo and if you are the romantic sort (as Chris is) i'm sure you'd enjoy the experience.

Posted by Jess


  1. Oh have you seen 'Letters to Juliet?' I saw it tonight. It was based on Juliet's courtyard in Verona. :)

  2. Jillian - no the film isn't out in the UK yet (I think it comes out next week) I'll have to see it now! Doesn't look like Chris's kind of thing though so might have to find a girlfriend to go with.

  3. Wow! I'm loving all those post-it notes.

    "The tunnel is covered with graffiti and post-it notes all covered with beautiful declarations of love such as 'Sharon & Ross 4 ever'"

    I laughed out loud at that! Haha, how funny!

    Italy looks beautiful, and it looks like you brought the sun back to the UK with you!

  4. Juliet's balcony was sweet - as was Verona. The day we visited there was a cheese festival in the square outside the amphitheatre.

    I'd love to go to the Lakes one day - when feeling a bit richer!

  5. That is just the sort of "tourist trap" I love. I'm a sucker for places like that. My spouse and I stopped off in Rochester England on our way to Canterbury because I found a "Dickens Center" there. Rochester has many places mentioned in Dickens, little plaques everywhere and a Dickens Center with dioramas of scenes from his books. it was too much fun.

  6. Bethany - the temperture today is more or less what it was like. I wouldn't mind but all my summer clothes are in the wash now :)

    Annabel - it really was a lovely place, there are alot of camping places so I think thats how most of the families going do it. I would love to go back to Verona because although we saw alot there's alot we didn't.

    C.B.James - thats funny, I've been to Rochester several times and have never seen any of the Dickens stuff mentioned let alon knew it had a Dickens centre. Shows how much you dont notice if your not a tourist.

  7. Good to have you back.

    All those post it notes must have been a spectacular sight but not as awe inspiring as the balcony surely.

  8. That is so cool. I had never imagined that there would be an actual balcony in Italy dedicated to Romeo and Juliet.

  9. Petty - the post it notes were very unexpected but the actual courtyard is tiny.

    Zara - I also forgot to mention theres an actual gift shop in the courtyard opposite the balcony, they have certainly cashed in ;)

  10. I LOVED the movie Letters to Juliet!! Went with my Hub -- I didn't even ask him if he liked it because I didn't want him killin' by buzzz :)