If you’ve ever watched the movie “Letters to Juliet,” you’ll probably remember the character of Amanda Seyfried entering the empty courtyard of Giulietta’s supposed house, where people left letters between the stones of the wall.
The reality is a bit different. First, expect to find a crowd within the city’s most famous tourist attraction, especially in the summer. Then exchange the letters for the graffiti of the couples marking their initials on the wall. Still, it is worth to visit Casa di Giulietta.
It is not known whether Romeo Montecchio and Giulietta Capuleto really existed, but there was rather a quarrel between these two rich families of Verona. From the 13th century, the old house of the Capuleti has a balcony in the inner courtyard, where they would have been exchanged for love, and a statue of the heroine. Legend has it that anyone touching her right breast will be lucky in relationships, which is why she no longer has her nipple.
A few steps away is Piazza delle Erbe, where there is a souvenir fair, the medieval tower of Lam dei Lamberti, 84 meters high, and Piazza dei Signori, surrounded by palaces from the 14th and 15th centuries. Continue through the picturesque streets and pass by the Chiesa di Sant’Anastasia until arriving at Ponte Pietra for a photo. Then visit the Duomo di Verona and go along the river for about 15 minutes until you reach the grandiose Castelvecchio, a 14th century fortress that today functions as an art museum.
The tour ends at Piazza Bra, where a set of two arches with a clock is the gateway to the city. Just there is the Arena di Verona, which, although not as large as that of Rome, is the best preserved coliseum in Italy. Its structure and great acoustics make it the perfect setting for the city’s opera festival.
The Opera Festival
The event, which usually happens between June and August, will soon have the full 2019 schedule on the site, where you can buy tickets. In my opinion, the investment is worth even for those who do not understand anything about opera.
Imagine yourself sitting in an arena built by the Romans in the moonlight, listening to vibrant voices recounting some of humanity’s oldest stories. I remember shivering with the absolute silence of the audience in the seconds between songs and still more at the thought that those voices protruded so loudly without the use of a microphone.
Even those who speak a little Italian will hardly understand everything that is being sung.