Thursday, February 14, 2013

Letters to Juliet ... Really

 
I have traveled all over Italy, visiting big cities (Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples) and small towns (Bassano, Padova, Assisi). I've traveled the winding roads along the Amalfi Coast, hiked through the Dolomites, and sailed to Capri. I've watched the sun rising behind a row of cypress trees, heard the rain pattering on ancient cobblestone streets, and marveled at bright red geraniums spilling over flower boxes, balconies, and windows.

But in all the boot that is Italy, my favorite place is Verona.

Verona is where my mother is from. It is the place where I rode with my Zio took on the back of his vespa, where my Nonna took me to my first opera, where I had my First Communion. Verona is where I brought my husband a few years after we were married and, later, our three sons.
 
So today, on this Valentine's Day, come with me for a visit. Verona is the perfect city for love; after all, it is the setting of Shakespeare's tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet ... a tale based on the Capulets and the Montagues who were prominent families of Verona.

Today, you can visit Juliet's balcony.
 

 
You can also see Juliet's statue,



and for good luck you can even touch Juliet's ...
well, I'll let my zio Luciano demonstrate.


A couple of years ago a very charming movie, Letters to Juliet, was filmed in and around Verona.
 
 
In the movie, Sophie is an aspiring writer who meets a group of women known as Juliet's secretaries. These women gather to answer letters sent to Juliet asking for advice on love.

Now, what many may not realize is that Juliet's secretaries actually exist. For more than 70 years, Juliet's "secretaries" (volunteers from Verona) have collected the notes and letters which arrive in the mail by the thousands from all over the world . . . and every single letter containing a return address is answered.

So, if you are seeking advice on all matters concerning amore, write to ...

Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House)
Via Cappello, 23
Verona, Italy
 
And as far as love stories go ... my parents met in Verona. They used to meet right under this clock tower.
 
 
 
And here, the same place 40 years later.
 
 
 
And under the clock tower, in the right hand corner, you will find a plaque containing
Shakespeare's description of Verona in Act III, Scene III of  Romeo and Juliet.
 
 
 
Verona ... I think Shakespeare got it just right.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
 

6 comments:

TIZIANAAVESANI said...

Buon San valentino, cara Maria, e grazie per ricordarci sempre.
Un cuore di abbracci.

debi9kids said...

Oh wow! How beautiful!

And amazing to know they actually answer all of those letters. Very neat and romantic :)

Lisa said...

heehee! Very sweet and kinda cool -- but I gotta tell ya... I'm not thinking that Juliette is really the chick I'd send my sons to for advice on love matters. Ya know?

Cheryl Lage said...

Had no idea you could visit Juliet's balcony...or write for advice! (Or touch her, uh.... ;) )

Love --- and you! --- Make My Monday!

Thanks for playing along!

Cita Online said...

My husband and I watched that movie this weekend, and loved it! ... but, if Juliet was a fictional character, how do they decide which balcony in Verona is hers?

Do Not Be Anxious said...

One of my favorite movies (which I watch again each Holy Thursday night) is I Am David. In that movie a young boy wanders through the back roads of Italy; I love the scenery in that movie, and the people. I have traveled much in the world, and thought I might not leave the old USA again, but you remind me that Italy DOES call ----- perhaps, some day.