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: then banished, is death mis-term’d: calling death banishment, Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe, And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, III, 3
The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, wich was written for the first time by a man from Vicenza named Luigi da Porto in the year 1524, and immortalized by William Shakespeare, can easily be traced in the characteristics of Verona.
The imagination of the people, struck by the sad story of the two lovers, has mixed legend with reality, to the extent that one can recognize wich ancient buildings of the city were the places where the action took place.
Among those buildings, the mosto outstanding in the house of Juliet, wich accordint to tradition is the very central Via Cappello, just a few steps away from Piazza delle Erbe.
The so-called “casa Capuleti”, wich apparently dates back to the 13th century, did merit to Antonio Avena, the director of Museums in Verona, whose intention was to feed people’s imagination developed around the tragedy.
The building belonged to the Cappello family for a long time, and their coat of arms is rock carved over the inner arch of the courtyard. It was the identification of the Cappello family with the Capulets that gave origin to the belief that this is the house where Juliet lived.
The building has a beautiful internal facade, done in exposed brick, a Gothic-style portal, trilobate windows, a balustrade wich connects the various parts of the house with the outside, and of course the famous balcony, wich is visited daily by hundreds of hopeful Juliets.
Inside there is a fourniture from the 16th and 17th centuries, frescoes referring to the story of the two lovers, and Renaissance ceramics of Verona. In the courtyard one finds the bronze statue of Juliet by artist Nero Costantini.
There is a popular legend saying if you touch her left breast you will have a good luck in love and romance.
This visit is of course a must for all lovers, and the walls of the courtyard are completely covered wity inscripitons and messages: these are votive offering of love, promises of eternal loyalty, or “pleas for pardon”, all making Juliet today’s divinity of love, who one can adress for help concerning the question of how to love and be loved the right way.