If you didn’t already know Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet was set in Verona and as you stroll through the beautiful medieval old town it is easy to see why he was inspired to set the love story here! The historical area is compact and the main sights can easily be seen in a day … so following the many signs for ‘Casa di Giulietta” is a good starting point as it will take you through many of the lovely narrow streets with designer boutiques, cafes & eateries en route!
The Gothic style stone balcony that apparently inspired Shakespeare is hidden away in a small courtyard and we have to say that the approach is far from romantic!! The archway and dark enclosed tunnel entrance is more often than not jammed full of visitors coming and going … with walls floor to ceiling absolutely covered in graffiti love notes and messages – which are interesting but not really that aesthetically pleasing!
Once into the light and open (but always busy) courtyard you can just look up to the very small balcony or pay to go through the house and museum for a chance to actually stand out on it and have your photo taken!
The statue of Juliet is wonderful, very simple and seemingly serene which is in total contrast to the noisy, over crowded bustle of the garden that surrounds her … full of more crazy graffiti and hundreds of brightly coloured ‘love locks’ that encase the gates there.
Once out of that chaos there are many delightful and picturesque piazzas to sit out in for coffee or a meal … where you can take in with awe the incredible architecture that is all around in abundance! The highlight being the Verona Arena which is a 1st Century Roman amphitheatre where shows and concerts are still held – what a venue!!
The whole town is spotless and so well looked after with a distinct feel of wealth but not at all in a flashy way … its relaxed and classy! If you have longer to spend then we’d highly recommend it but if you are staying near by, as we were, and only have a day then the train in (the station is slightly far out from the old town – so jump straight into a taxi to get quickly to the centre) and just get lost in the amazing streets, atmosphere and beauty of it all!