Tag Archives: Romeo and Juliet

A to Z of Statues – J is for Juliet in Verona

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east and Juliet is the sun!”

I have backed myself into a corner with this one.

A few days ago I used Juliet’s Balcony in my A to Z oz of balconies and now I have to use Juliet herself  in my A to Z of statues.

Before anyone pulls me up on this point again I know that Juliet’s balcony is not the original and that Juliet never stood on a balcony but rather looked out of a window

The statue is situated in a delightful courtyard but sadly and inevitably it attracts the vandals who are determined to attach padlocks (so called love locks) to any available opportunity.  These mindless morons naturally flock to Juliet’s house in Verona where there are security guards who ensure they only vandalise the designated corner.

This is a lover’s plague whereby signing and locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river they become eternally bonded, inspired it is said by ‘I Want You’, the 2006 novel by Federico Moccia where by inscribing names, locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river they become eternally bonded. 

Bloody Hell that is ludicrously reckless.

This is an action where I would recommend extreme caution because it sounds dangerously impulsive to me; I think I would further recommend taking the precaution of keeping a spare somewhere in case I needed releasing later.

The tradition might sound all rather romantic and lovely but apparently all of these love tokens do lots of damage to the bridges because as they age and rust this spreads to the ironwork and thousands of padlocks need to be removed every year from bridges across Europe.  In Venice there is a €3,000 penalty and up to a year in prison for those caught doing it and that is a much, much higher price than I would be prepared to pay for eternal bondage.

To anyone who thinks this is mean-spirited please bear in mind that in June 2014 the ‘Pond des Arts’ in Paris across the River Seine collapsed under the weight of these padlock monstrosities and had to be temporarily closed.  They are not just unsightly – they are dangerous!

Read The Full Story Here…

A to Z of Balconies – Verona

Supposedly the location of the famous balcony scene from Shakespeare’s love story, Juliet’s house in Verona is a popular romantic shrine and tourist honey-trap where lovers leave messages to each other on the walls and attach the dreadful lovelocks to the fences and the railings.

Although the place has become a major destination for tourist pilgrimage the house of course has no connection at all with the bard’s fictional characters and although it is old and looks authentic enough, the balcony was actually added in 1936 and declared to be “Juliet’s house” by the city authorities in a blatant attempt to cash in on the Shakespeare connection and to attract more tourists.

The balcony overlooks a tiny courtyard containing a dainty bronze statue of a graceful Juliet and people were waiting impatiently for their turn to be photographed with the heroine and to touch her right breast which is supposed to bring good fortune but I was worried that public groping was inappropriate and ever so slightly ungentlemanly so I steered clear and elected to do without the good luck boost and on the way out decided not to waste my money on a lottery ticket next weekend.

It is an interesting fact that thirteen of the thirty-seven plays of William Shakespeare were set either completely or partly in Italy and if we rule out the ten English history plays (which naturally have to be set in England) then half of the remainder of the major works are set in the Italian states and no one knows for sure just why.

Those who question Shakespeare’s authorship make the point that he sets his plays in Venice, Milan and Florence not Warwick, Oxford and York and they just may have a point!

The plays in which some or all of the action is set in Italy are: All’s Well that Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Winter’s Tale.

“Ever a shadow, he disappears, all but utterly, from 1585 to 1592….There is not a more tempting void in literary history, nor more eager hands to fill it” – Bill Bryson on Shakespeare.

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

Juliet's House and Balcony Verona Italy

Juliet’s House in Verona

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.”

Visiting the Italian city of Verona considered it essential that we find and see Juliet’s house in a cobbled courtyard tucked away in a side street.

Supposedly the location of the famous balcony scene from Shakespeare’s love story, Juliet’s house is a popular romantic shrine and tourist honey-trap where lovers leave messages to each other on the walls and attach the dreadful love-locks to the fences and the railings.  This is a problem of course so there are attendants on duty to make sure visitors only do this in one specially designated spot because if there wasn’t some control the courtyard would be quickly covered in untidy graffiti and more ironmongery than an average Home Depot store!

Although the courtyard has become a major destination for tourist pilgrimage the house of course has no connection at all with the bard’s fictional characters and although it is old and looks authentic enough, the balcony was actually added in 1936 and declared to be “Juliet’s house” by the city authorities in a blatant attempt to cash in on the Shakespeare connection and to attract more tourists.

The balcony overlooks a tiny courtyard containing a dainty bronze statue of a graceful Juliet and people were waiting impatiently for their turn to be photographed with the heroine and to touch her right breast which is supposed to bring good fortune but I was worried that public groping was ever so slightly inappropriate so I steered clear, chose to do without the good luck boost and on the way out decided not to waste my money on a lottery ticket next weekend.

Have you been to Verona?  Have you been to Juliet’s house?

Juliet's House Verona

“Ever a shadow, he disappears, all but utterly, from 1585 to 1592….There is not a more tempting void in literary history, nor more eager hands to fill it”  –  Bill Bryson on Shakespeare.

It is an interesting fact that thirteen of the thirty-seven plays of William Shakespeare were set either completely or partly in Italy and if we rule out the ten English history plays (which naturally have to be set in England) then half of the remainder of the major works are set in the Italian states and no one knows for sure just why.

Read the Full Story…

William Shakespeare Verona Italy

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall of Love Letters

Juliet's House Verona

In Verona we considered it essential that we find and see Juliet’s house in a cobbled courtyard tucked away in a side street.  Supposedly the location of the famous balcony scene from Shakespeare’s love story, Juliet’s house is a popular romantic shrine and tourist honey-trap where lovers leave messages to each other on the walls and attach the dreadful lovelocks to the fences and the railings.

A wall in the courtyard is provided for people to leave their messages but all around there are strategically placed attendants keeping a careful watch to make sure no one touches the precious walls of the building itself.

Read the full story…

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Juliet's House and Balcony Verona Italy

Romeo and Juliet – Verona

Supposedly the location of the famous balcony scene from Shakespeare’s love story, Juliet’s house is a popular romantic shrine and tourist honey-trap where lovers leave messages to each other on the walls and attach the dreadful lovelocks to the fences and the railings.  

Although the house has become a major destination for tourist pilgrimage the house of course has no connection at all with the bard’s fictional characters and although it is old and looks authentic enough, the balcony was actually added in 1936 and declared to be “Juliet’s house” by the city authorities in a blatant attempt to cash in on the Shakespeare connection and to attract tourists.

Read the full story…

Verona, Juliet’s House and the Piazza Signori

Juliet's House and Balcony Verona Italy

Piazza Brà, the central square with its richly decorated houses, immaculate streets and gardens and busy pavement restaurants had a prosperous, self assured atmosphere and we ate our Brek self-service pasta lunch while people rushed by on the adjacent pavement and the sun broke through the thin clouds and filled the Piazza with welcome rays that emphasized the pastel shades of the buildings and the geometry of the bricks and stones of the medieval city wall close by.

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Verona, The Amphitheatre

Verona Italy Amphitheatre

“There is no world without Verona walls                                                                           But purgatory, torture, hell itself                                                                                     Hence banished is banish’d from the world                                                                      And world’s exile is death”                                                                                      Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

The good thing about travelling to this region of Italy and not staying within the confines of the Venetian Lagoon is that there was the opportunity to go beyond the watery city and see so much more and today our plan was to travel west and visit the ancient and famous city of Verona.

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