Fact: there are far more interesting things to do and see in Verona than Juliet’s House (or, in Italian Casa di Giulietta). And to be honest, the idea of Juliet’s house is based on one big fantasy. But I must admit: it’s a great fantasy and I love it.
No idea what I’m talking about? Let me fill in the blanks:
Juliet’s House (situated in the Casa di Giulietta, Via Capello 23 in Verona) is supposed to be the house where Juliet (you know, from Shakespeare famous love story Romeo and Juliet) used to live. In fact, the balcony of the house was the place where both lovers declared their love to each other. Today the house is one of the major attractions in Verona and receives thousands of tourists every year, all of them wanting to see this über romantic place themselves. The house played a major part in the movie Letters to Juliet (from 2010, starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave), making the place even more famous. True, the film isn’t really a masterpiece but if you’re into sweet romance (and Italy) you’ll probably love this movie.
The movie shows the tiny courtyard in front of Juliet’s house and all looks clean, peaceful and relaxed. In reality it’s packed with tourists gazing at the balcony and the statue of Juliet. If you’re looking for good fortune and love, just rub her right boob. You can’t miss it: it’s the one with the damaged metal.
Another love related must see is the wall covered with chewing gum and little love notes (although I have no idea what chewing gum has to do with love. Anyone?).
Inside the house you can get a good idea how people like Juliet and her family used to live, and you can admire Juliet’s bed. Well, it’s not really her bed, but a bed used for a love scene in the movie Romeo and Juliet (1968) from Franco Zeffirelli.
There are also a couple of computers available, if you feel the need to express your love and write Juliet – or someone else – a love letter (if you’re in doubt whether Juliet actually reads her mails you can drop your love letter in an old fashion letter box). The main reason however why you should want to go inside the house, is to pose on the balcony and have your picture taken. Strike your most lovely post, boys and girls, it’s all in the name of love!
So, do we really believe this is actually the house of Juliet? Of course not. Juliet and Romeo never really existed, William Shakespeare never visited Verona once in his entire life, and the famous balcony was actually added in the 20th century. In fact, the city of Verona bought the house in 1905 from the Dal Capello family. Now Capello and Capuleti (Juliet’s last name) sounds almost similar, so it was easy to ‘sell’ this house as the place Juliet used to live.
Despite all of this, I still loved visiting this place. Why? Because it shows you how powerful love stories can be. Juliet’s house has become a place filled with rituals of love. So what’s not to love?
Tip: you don’t have to go to Verona to write a letter to Juliet. Since decades the city of Verona receives thousands of letters every year, all addressed to Juliet (most of them are women and/or American teenagers). The letters are read and replied by the volunteers of Juliet’s Club (Club di Giulietta). The club also organizes Juliet’s Birthday (in September) and festivities. Have a look at www.julietclub.com for more information.