Did you know that Romeo and Juliet, the famous play by William Shakespeare was set in an Italian city? The story was fictional, but the two families who were fighting really existed and even today you can see Juliet’s balcony.
Do you know which city we need to visit in order to see the famous balcony?
It is indeed Verona.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young Italian star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays.
Romeo and Juliet made Verona famous, turning a lovely but unremarkable town in the shadow of Venice in northeast Italy into one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Many visitors wonder why Shakespeare chose this setting to lay the scene of his most popular play.
The answer is quite simple: he kept to the source material. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is based on Italian writer Luigi da Porta’s A Recently Re-Discovered Story of Two Noble Lovers with Their Pitiful Death Occurred at the Time of Bartolomeo Della Scala.
Da Porta set his play in 14th century Verona, writing about two young nobles living in neighbouring castles who fall in love but are torn apart by their warring families, to tragic effect. Da Porta wrote the original story after having his own heart broken, and Shakespeare discovered and reinterpreted his own version just a few decades later—keeping the devastating conclusion and setting the same.
While it’s a fictional story, the two families (Montague and Capulet) really existed, and they were 2 influential families of Verona.
“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene” is how Shakespeare describes the setting of his most famous love story, Romeo and Juliet. So poignant is the tale that modern-day lovers still flock to the cobbled streets of Verona, if not for historical accuracy, then certainly for the romance it embodies.
If you visit Verona, you can visit Juliet’s house, and the famous balcony. You’ll also see a bronze statue of Juliet, and tradition has it that rubbing the right breast of the statue will bring love and fertility.


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