Friday, October 30, 2009

The Balcony of Love (Verona Italy)

"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name", said Juliet looking down from a balcony in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, set in the travel wonder of Verona in northern Italy. This elegant 14th century two storey stone cottage in central Verona was home to the Cappello family that Shakespeare is rumoured to have developed the family name Capulet in his famous play.

Today millions of visitors disgorge from the otels in Verona and flood this narrow laneway to pay homage to the setting of English language's best known love story. Verona has cashed in too with couples able to pay hundreds of Euros to stand on the balcony and take their marriage vows in this iconic location of love.

Ironically, Shakespeare never went to Verona nor was the balcony built when the play was set, but such details spoil a wonderful tale.

A bronze statue of Juliet Capulet stands proudly in the courtyard, her right breast glowing a rich gold from years of gentle rubbing and touching. Good fortune is afforded to visitors who rub Juliet's right breast. Judging by the smoothed area on the statue, many have sought good luck when visiting the historic and grand city of Verona. Some leave their secret desires on small slips of paper tucked into the historic stone wall.

In Verona, spend a few minutes thinking of your loved one as you gaze up at Juliet's famous balcony and massage her chest for good luck.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Other Italian Posts
Touring the Mosaic City (Ravenna)
Chianti Classico
Hiking the Confection Villages (Cinque Terre)
Tuscan Beauty (Pitigliano)
Top Ten Travel Wonders of Rome


Heather on her travels said...

I think the story's sweet but I gather that balcony has become a real tourist trap now and there are lots of lovely other Italian cities less known. Couldn't really be sure as I haven't been there myself. But after the coliseum in Rome I've become strangely alergic to tourist traps

Mark H said...

@heather: Verona is a beautiful city and well wirth visiting (I'll write a more complete post one day). You are correct that this little laneway is packed with people rubbing Juliet's breast and wildly snapping photos. That being said, no-one charges you to be there and it only takes a few minutes to check it out.

Anonymous said...

this post is very usefull thx!

Mark H said...

@anonymous: I'm glad you found the article useful.

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