The introduction to Romeo and Juliet states “In fair Verona, where we lay our scene” making the Italian city of Verona known for being a city of love. And Verona is totally using this to their advantage. There are spots all over the city that are linked with the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in Verona. The couple has become a symbol of love, practically worshipped worldwide by Shakespeare lovers and those that just love romance. And when in Verona the most visited place linked to the star crossed lovers is Casa di Giulietta (the House of Juliet). Here you will find Juliet’s balcony, where some of Shakespeare’s most romantic prose is played out.
Shakespeare And Juliet’s House
Firstly, I’m going to address the elephant in the room. Is there any link to this house and the doomed couple in the play? No. Absolutely none. Romeo and Juliet are purely fictional characters and never lived. They are not real. In fact, it wasn’t even Shakespeare’s idea, it is based on the poem by Arthur Brooke, published in 1562
If you want some real Shakespeare history, visit the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Houses, or read about my Adventure in Stratford-upon-Avon
So how come there’s Juliet’s House in Verona? Firstly, can you blame the tourist board of Verona? What a great, easy PR campaign! Basically already written. The drama of Romeo and Juliet is so ingrained in our minds it’s easy to forget that the characters weren’t real. There are loads of places all over Verona linked to Romeo and Juliet (and I love it).
The Casa di Giulietta has become known as Juliet’s House as it once belonged to the Dal Capello family, known as the Cappelletti, which is essentially the Italian for Capulets (Juliet’s surname in the play).
Also, the pretty balcony helped with this house becoming known as Juliet’s House. Even though this feature wasn’t even added until 1936. So, unfortunately, everything here is fake. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit!
Visiting Juliet’s Balcony And House
As I have already stated, the house and balcony are completely fake and have no link to Shakespeare’s tragic lovers. Despite this, the emotional pull of the place makes it worth visiting.
The courtyard itself is completely free to enter. From here you can see the famous (if fake) balcony of Juliet. Weirdly, there is a bubblegum wall where people stuck notes to Juliet. Obviously some padlocks too, the usual “romantic” stuff. Be sure to look for the quote from the play in Italian and English, on the wall of the house too.
There is also a statue of Juliet inspired, I assume, from the quote near the end of the play:
“I’ll raise her statue in pure gold. As long as this city is called Verona, there will be no figure praised more than that of true and faithful Juliet.”
A Charm For Love
Weirdly, the statue has become a charm for luck in love and fertility, just rub Juliet’s right breast. I don’t really have to point this out, the statue has been polished by many hands wishing for love, so much so the rubbing has moved to other places on the statue., but traditionally it is the breast to be rubbed. Personally, I have a few issues with this…
Firstly, Juliet is thirteen in the play. Thirteen! Please stop rubbing the breasts of a statue of a thirteen-year-old girl. It is weird. (Yes, the statue looks older, but that is not the point). You may say “it’s only a statue”, but that leads me nicely on to my second problem… Why is it that EVERY statue of a woman that is meant to bring luck in some way gives luck by having her breasts rubbed? Why not hold her hand? Or just something less, you know, sexual. Or can we start rubbing the crotches of male statues for luck? Either works for me.
Lastly, what LUCK do you think Juliet will give? The story might be “romantic” etc, but it is also a little creepy how fast they fall in love and get married. And let’s not even mention the fact that Romeo and Juliet are definitely NOT lucky in love. They die! That is the whole point!
If you want to see another rant of mine about rubbing statues, check Save Bobby’s Nose
The 14th house itself has become a museum based around Romeo and Juliet. Inside you will find random displays, furniture from medieval times and props form film versions of the play.
But the real reason to go into the museum is to actually get on to Juliet’s balcony. It is the only way you will get up to the balcony. Though if you want a picture of your best Juliet impression, you will need to leave someone in the courtyard with a camera.
There is also a small charge to go into the museum at Juliet’s House.
Whether you plan to go into the museum at Casa di Giulietta or not, your best bet for the courtyard is to get there either early or late. It is a very popular attraction and so gets very crowded.
How To Get To Juliet’s Balcony
Verona has a lot to offer and so is worth having a few days to explore. If you want to visit the courtyard and Juliet’s House by yourself it is fairly easy. On Via Cappello, the crowds will show you the way.
From Piazza Brà, walk away from the Portoni Della Brà and past the Arena (with the arena on your right). Take the left up Via Giuseppe, follow this street until the end where it meets Via Cappello. Turn right on Via Cappello, follow this until you see an archway on your left (probably with loads of people going in and out), go through this archway and you are in the courtyard of Juliet’s House.
Alternatively, you could take a tour to see Juliet’s balcony, like these:
The Highlights of Verona Small-Group Walking Tour: This 2-hour walking tour of the historic centre of Verona shows you the main tourist spots.
2-Hour Romantic Verona Walking Tour: This private tour is perfect for couples, visiting sites that have links with Romeo and Juliet.
Verona & Amarone Full-Day Tour from Venice: If you don’t have the time to stay in Verona, this day trip from Venice gives you three hours to explore Verona, plenty of time to discover Juliet’s balcony.
Check out more tours of Verona available on Get Your Guide.
Although Juliet’s balcony is fake and unlinked to Shakespeare’s famous couple, it is still worth a visit. A romantic courtyard that has become a sort of pilgrimage for couples. It’s also interesting how fiction can completely influence a city and inspire tourists.
Plan on visiting Juliet’s Balcony? Check out places to stay in Verona on HostelWorld
I have been to Verona twice and visited this place each time. It’s very touristy but I think if you are in Verona you should check it out. Nevertheless it’s better not have high expectations and just walk around. Also I agree with you: I don’t like that idea of rubbing a female statue’s breast!
Hahahaha! I got on a bit of a rant there, didn’t I?! Yeah, Juliet’s Balcony might be a bit cheesy, but it’s definitely worth just going to have a look at, just don’t expect much.
Seems like an interesting place! I actually lived next door in Vicenza for a year and never made it to Juliet’s house – I kind of want to see the bubble gum wall and how the notes are stuck! Great post, thanks for sharing!
So jealous you lived there! Verona is a beautiful city. The bubblegum wall is, erm… Interesting!
Juliet’s balcony is a fun place to visit. I was there right before the pandemic shut down traveling – although I didn’t go inside. I like your idea of grabbing the the crotches of male statues, I think you may be on to something there 🙂
I was there just before the pandemic too, just as some Italian towns were isolating, hence how I managed to see Juliet’s House with barely any crowds. Hehehe! We will start this grabbing of male statues crotches together, sure it wouldn’t take long for other tourists to take it up!
I have been to Italy quite a few times and I have never even thought about visiting Verona. I guess that because it is mostly known for this star-crossed lovers, and I am not a huge fan of the story, it doesnt hold a lot of appeal! I am happy you shared this… so that I can see what I missed. Looks pretty… but slightly overrated =)
Hahaha! Yes, I’m not a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet, there are much better Shakespeare plays. And all the way through I am just thinking “can someone just bang both sets of parent’s heads together?”. But Verona is very pretty and worth visiting regardless. This is the main attraction, but there is much more to the city.
I would actually like to visit the balcony, although I don’t like when things are made into tourist attractions, I feel like it takes something away from them.
Yeah, I know what you mean. When tourist attractions become a huge thing and the crowds are immense, it definitely takes something away from it. One plus point to being in Italy just as Europe was getting nervous about COVID (and a few Italian towns were isolated), meant there were no crowds here.
For someone who studied Shakespeare in college, thank you for sharing the history of this site! I’ve always wanted to visit, but I didn’t know any of this backstory.
Bet that was awesome studying Shakespeare in college! I always think it would’ve been fun to take English Literature further than high school. Let me know what you think when you manage to visit!