In the north of Italy, a cloudy and foggy city welcomes tourists with its romantic and peaceful streets. Before we name the city, let’s continue with some more tips and fun facts.
The city, which is one of the important tourism centers of the country, is home to many monuments from the classical Roman period that were not used in the Middle Ages. It is also known for inclusion of historical buildings. Furthermore it’s in the UNESCO World Heritage list due to their value and importance.
But the most striking and well-known aspect of the city is that it contains an immortal love story. Yes, maybe the first two names that come to mind when you think of an immortal love story: Romeo and Juliette.
The location where Juliet’s house, which is the subject of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” story, is located and which is memorable with its balcony scene, is in the city of Verona.
My way to Verona
The city that I will cover in this article, fell in an interesting way. During my internship 2 years ago, meeting my roommate Alessia. She comes from Verona and made me meet the name of the city for the first time. Our beautiful friendship with Alessia and her talking about her own city and telling stories were refreshing for me. At the end of our internship, of course, we promised to visit each other in our own country/cities.
A few months ago, we started planning the day when we will finally realize this plan! My visit to Verona only covered 2 days, but I was sure that it would still be a full one. I decided not to do any prior research on the city because I had absolute confidence in Alessia’s route and recommendations. As a matter of fact, when our trip started and I reached Verona train station. We had a much better city tour than I expected! Thehe weather was quite foggy and cloudy. Anyways the fact that it was not cold did not cause any trouble for us to continue our trip.
We talked about the history of the city and started with our walk along the Adige river. My friend, who was born and raised in Verona, had a memory, an acquaintance and a story in every corner of the city. It was really enjoyable to listen to these, it made me see the city through her eyes!
Arena di Verona was the first historical monument we reached at the point. There we crossed the old bridge to the city center. It is the third largest amphitheater in Italy after the Colosseum in Rome and the arena in the ancient city of Kapua. Today concerts, performances and operas are held in this immense place.
Then we walked to Piazza delle Erbe square and examined the historical buildings closely. We continued our tour by looking for a local gelato (ice cream) shop. There Alessia showed the works hidden in the side streets.
We explored all the historical and important structures in the old city on foot. Moreover I saw how many important works the city actually packed into such a small space.
Our next route was to climb towards the Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes. Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes is located on the hills of St. Leonard. The building offers plenty of photo opportunities and is one of the greatest sightseeing stops in Verona.
The foggy landscape of Verona was quite mesmerizing for me too, it reminded me of a fairy-tale image. It has many bridges and each bridge surrounds the city, resulting in a magnificent view.
On our way back home, we thought it would be fun to extend the road a bit by visiting different streets, and we visited Verona Cathedral, which we came across.
After the cathedral, which overlaps beautifully with the city and has a truly incredible atmosphere, we continued on our way through the peaceful and quiet streets with various cafes and bars.
All kinds of shops, markets and restaurants we saw on the road looked like a representation of ancient times. All the streets of Verona with their colors, shapes and details are to be seen.
In addition to all this, I would like to talk a little more about the most important values of Verona I already mentioned : “Juliette’s house” It is maybe the first place tourists visit when they arrive in the city.
The story of Romeo and Juliet
Since I am not fully inside the story I will use a very nice description that gives what I feel about this story:
Romeo and Juliet was inspired by the Arthur Brooke poem, The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, which was published in 1562. Brooke’s version was inspired by older works by Italian writers, including Luigi de Porto and Matteo Bandello. They told the story of Romeo and Giuletta and the deadly feud between the families Montecchi and Capelletti. These names are also mentioned in a verse of Dante’s Purgatory, published in the mid-1300s, though his poem includes nothing about star-crossed lovers.
The house was once inhabited by the Cappello family—a name similar to the Italian version’s Capelletti—and dates back to the 13th century, though the famous balcony wasn’t added until the 20th century.
The courtyard boasts a statue of Juliet, and visitors can partake in the popular ritual of rubbing her right breast for luck in love, though she herself had very little. Inside the house, you’ll find a small and immensely crowded museum with Renaissance-era costumes. Also and the actual bed used in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film adaptation of the story.
Although most everything about this house is fiction, the emotions that draw people to it are real.
The walls beneath the balcony are completely covered by graffiti scribbles and notes from visitors asking for guidance in love. Many of them are attached with chewing gum. The notes tell the stories of the visitors’ pasts, their problems and their hopes for the future.
It was an amazing trip for me, and I have to say I fell in love with Verona. Special thanks to my dear friend Alessia for making this trip incredible, without her I wouldn’t have enjoyed it like this 🙂
I would highly recommend everyone who is reading this article to visit Verona! 👍