Juliet's Balcony

The balcony.  Installed after World War II the wall as a tourist draw has worked.  In the few minutes we were there at least a 100 people were part of the steamy current flowing into and out of the alcove.

As a young romantic, I memorized a few of the lines from Shakespeare's play while  visualizing Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. I recall Romeo hiding in the bushes and his breathless voice, “What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”

We all know the play takes place in Verona.  It is the story of two young lovers. Juliet is a Capulet.  Romeo is a Montague.  They meet at a Capulet ball and fall in love.  The problem for the youngsters is their families, the Capulets and the Montagues,  are locked in a mortal feud.   There is a secret marriage which within days ends with both young lovers dead.

It is one of Shakespeare's most memorable and winning tragedies and performed more that any of his other plays.

None of this really happened.  Shakespeare's story is based on a story over 100 years old by the time he retold it. The story of Romeo and Juliet uses a theme with roots which go as far back as Ancient Greece and Rome.

Shakespeare's story is based on Mariotto Maganelli and Giannoza Saraceni, children of two feuding families in Siena, Italy who according to author Masuccio Salernitano were also star- crossed lovers - their tale ending in their tragic deaths. http://www.ancient-origins.net/history/romeo-and-juliet-not-shakespearean-tale-after-all-003155

The Juliet balcony on view in Verona, according to a popular story, came into being following World War II when the tourism board of Verona realized there might be notoriety and money to be made from having a balcony to view.  There was a family with a name similar to the Capulet, the Cappelletti Family, who owned the present house in the 13th Century.  

A medieval balcony was purchased and fitted to the wall.  An entrance to the balcony was opened and the house prepared for tours.
Build it and they will come – and they do – in hoards!

How can you pass up not seeing this perfect piece of fake news?  When I asked how to find it the tour guide gave us general directions.  “Go to the Southeastern end of Piazza Erbe where it turns into Via Cappello and follow the crowds.”
Our guide was right.  The crowds were there in a steady stream.

Travel is wonderful, even if it is tiring.  We all have a lot to learn about ourselves and the people we share our world with. The people we meet have a lot to teach us.  It is a perfect match of learners and teachers.  Travel is the first step in making a difference and building a better world.

Send me a note or leave a comment.  Thank You.  Rob


Lovers have written notes until the wall has turned black.  Now the love notes require a post-it note or a band-aid.

Lovers have written notes until the wall has turned black.  Now the love notes require a post-it note or a band-aid.