Friday, December 07, 2007

Romeo and Juliet Balcony

One stop of our Italy trip was Verona, which is most known for the locale of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". Although the story is fictional, it was based on the savage family feuding during the 13th and 14th centuries of the Della Scala family, which was a real family that lived in Verona. The famous sightseeing Romeo and Juliet Balcony-actually the house has nothing to do with the fictional characters in Shakespeare’s play and, from what I understand, the balcony was only added in the 1930s.

Verona is a small town that has retained most of the buildings from that period and really takes you back in time. A river winds its way around the city, and because of the love story of Romeo and Juliet , it become a very romantic place.

A little bit of Verona History

Verona was an important Roman city and this is the best city in northern Italy for visiting well preserved Roman buildings.

After the end of the Roman era the next “golden age” was around the 13th century. This is the Scaligeri(Scala)era featured in Romeo and Juliet.

The Scala family spent most of the next 150 years trying to dominate the north of Italy and, killing rival family members. In their spare time they did manage to build some beautiful buildings, palaces and bridges. The magnificent San Zeno Basilica and the Basilica of San Lorenzo date from this era.

After the family was finally removed the city fell under the control of Venice. Most of the main sites you will want to see were built before Venice took control, apart from some elegant villas built by various rich Veronese families.

Romeo and Juliet in Verona

It seems Verona tends to bring out the romantic in even the most jaded couple and all couples religiously make the trip to see Juliet’s balcony, which in reality is no such thing, but just a good bit of marketing by Verona. I don’t much like the balcony but if you are interested in knowing why and more about it then click here.

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