I’d like to thank my friend David for providing you with a Valentine’s day gift, pictures from “Juliet’s House” in Verona Italy. Of course, Juliet Capulet is a fictional character from Shakespeare’s play, but the house is definitely real. Built around the time the play takes place the home served as an Inn for many years. It was sold to the city in 1905 by the Capello family and the city of Verona knowing a good marketing idea, declared the house “the home of Juliet.” Now being a home of the Capulets would mean it would need a balcony. Since the house didn’t have one, a makeshift balcony was built, and the city began to promote the house to tourists.
The walls of the courtyard below are covered in graffiti much of it messages to the play’s heroine. And like Santa Claus, the house receives thousands of letters each year. These letters are usually from women seeking advice in affairs of the heart. The home actually has a writing crew called “Juliet’s secretaries” that send out written replies to these queries. The house is open to the public and is filled with furniture of the period as well as the costumes from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film version of “Romeo and Juliet.” If you have a thousand dollars and you want to get married on “Juliet’s Balcony” the city of Verona just unveiled a new travel option for couples who have no sense of irony.
Yes, there is also a “Romeo’s House” too close by but it isn’t nearly as popular. Both houses are lovely if you happen to be there when the crushing hordes are elsewhere. But if you are in Verona in high season, it is best to stay away as you won’t really get to see much except the back of the people in front of you. But if the gods are in your favor and you are blessed with an uncrowded day come see the homes of the star crossed lovers and if you fancy, leave a note for Juliet she might have some good advice.