Arts & Culture
Travel In Italy
Episode 3: Juliet’s Balcony Beckons To Lovers
Of all the reasons to come to Italy, you wouldn’t think it would include seeing the balcony of a fictional (yet beloved) character written by an English playwright about a town in Italy he likely never visited. You would think. Yet, you would be wrong. Every day tourists flock to Verona to see Juliet’s balcony for themselves.
Yes, I went. And yes, I made Andrew go with me to visit Juliet’s balcony one summer.
I don’t think either of us could believe what we saw, so take my word for it, prepare yourself for the crush of tourists you will have to shove through to get into the plaza and get a glimpse of Juliet’s balcony. I think, even though it’s crowded, you have to see it at least once in your life. Andrew may disagree.
Why Juliet’s balcony?
For those who many not know, Juliet of Verona is the teen obsession of Romeo, who apparently lived down the block (a small sign designates Romeo’s home that attracts almost nobody). This famous balcony is where Juliet stood calling down, “Romeo, Romeo, where art thou?”
What girl wouldn’t want to see this??
To get to the balcony you will enter through a tunnel covered in notes from people wanting to know about love. Its a crush of people, filing in and out and a shrine to people from all walks of life who want what they had, one great, immeasurable love!
Once you get into the plaza there is a little gift shop and a red post mailbox right outside the door where you can write letters to Juliet and get a response. Never mind that her fictional self committed suicide about 500 years ago. She still writes! Some of my friends did that during our year abroad and about a year later they actually received handwritten responses.
Go prepared! When I showed up, I didn’t know about this tradition. I scrawled a note about soulmates on a receipt I found in my bag… I didn’t get a response back on that one, though to be fair, Covid-19 broke out the next year so perhaps true love wasn’t on anyone’s mind for a while.
Aside from the mailbox and gift shop, there is a beautiful, storybook-looking balcony. There is also a statue of Juliet below it. That’s all there is to see on the outside. You can visit the house’s museum which has some beautiful dresses and bedrooms set up. The museum only costs six euro so if you have the time, I would check it out.
Oh, Romeo… and Rome
So, let’s circle back to Romeo and his far less touristy home. People flock to Juliet’s balcony, but when we walked over to Romeo’s territory it was pretty empty. His family, the Montecchi lived in this Medieval castle right in the center of Verona. It’s very fun to see spots and imagine that Romeo and Juliet actually existed in this little romantic city.
Beyond Romeo’s house is the more significant Arena di Verona, a still functioning Roman amphitheater build back in 30 A.D. The stadium sits in the center of the historic district and is a marvel of Roman engineering. It sits around 22,000 people and is often the venue for prominent operas and performances, and will be the site of the closing ceremonies for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
So Juliet’s balcony may beckon to heart-struck travelers, there remains many things to explore all of Verona beyond Romeo and Juliet. Stroll along the beautiful pathways and bridges over the river.
Fair Verona was one of my favorite places to visit and you can easily see it with one full day to explore. Andrew and I took a train in from Lucca in the morning and went back that night after dinner. The perfect amount of time to explore this fairytale city and ponder the great questions of love.
Click here to listen to the podcast episode.