Two houses both alike in dignity
In Fair Verona where we lay our scene.
(William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
We spent two days and two nights in Verona, just outside the gated walls. Unfortunately, we arrived on a Saturday afternoon after a brief stop over in Bologna, which, by the way has now become my favourite large city outside of Rome. I say unfortunately because the crowds and the brilliant sunshine made the experience quite uncomfortable. However, fair Verona it still is! Our young travelers were totally mesmerized by the mega shopping experience on the way to Juliet’s balcony.
Once there, it was indeed a truly captivating place. Even the chewing gum artwork one needed to view before entering the courtyard did not really detract from the ivy draped walls and the ornate medieval balcony. Juliet herself is caste in memorium at the foot of the balcony and apparently it is customary to press her bronzy breast for luck!
Nothing in Verona is as it seems. There are street performers who come up behind you and look like Charlie Chaplin; exotic illusionists who boldly perform their mind twisting tricks; stilt walkers and dancers who aim to rope you in and of course the artifice which is the search for that perfect pair of shoes or garment.
Next to the statue of Juliet is a “locket wall”. Here lovers can buy a lock complete with heart and key, write their initials or message and secure or “lock it” to the wall, keeping the key. After some coaxing and oohs and aahs from our young charges, Colin climbed up and secured one in place for us!