If you have seen the movie “Letters to Juliet” with Vanessa Redgrave and Amanda Seyfried you are familiar with the story of Juliet’s balcony and the Club di Giulietta. The letters that are addressed to Juliet are read and answered by local volunteers.
Vanessa Redgraves’s long lost love Lorenzo in the movie is actually her husband in real life.
The movie was filmed in Juliet’s hometown of Verona. Did you know that you could go to Verona and leave a message under her balcony at the 14th century palace? Look at all the documents under the picture in the post. Her secretaries will respond to your request offering advice about your Romeo. You don’t actually have to go to Verona to leave a letter, you can email the letter seeking romantic advice to her secretaries. The volunteers at the Juliet Club (Club di Giulietta) will answer your letter. On Valentine’s Day you may win a prize. Every Valentine’s Day a prize is awarded for the most beautiful letter. The prize includes a weekend trip to Verona. Juliet’s Club is financed by the city of Verona and was the subject of a book by Lise and Ceil Friedman.
The Capulet’s House (Casa di Giulietta) has a balcony, a courtyard and a bronze statue of Juliet. For good luck, stroke Juliet’s breast on the bronze statue. If you write your name and your loved-ones name on the wall, it is believed that your love will be everlasting.
The historic city of Verona has pastel candy-colored buildings. It was founded in the first century B.C. and is located at the foot of the Monte Lessini on the river. Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an outstanding example of a military stronghold. Verona is the second most important art center in the Venato region outside of Venice.
Verona has developed progressively and uninterruptedly for over 2000 years. The top row of the Roman Amphitheatre offers a panoramic view over the town and on a clear day the Alps are visible. The amphitheatre continues to serve as an opera house. Verona’s arena serves as a venue for an annual Shakespeare Festival. It was completed in 30 AD.
The Giardino Guisti is one of Italy’s most famous gardens and offers a beautiful view from the “monster balcony.” Verona flourished under the 124 year reign of the Scaliger family in the 13th and 14th centuries and as part of the Republic of Venice from the 15th to 18th centuries. Several seminal stages of European history have been preserved in this magical city. Tour the museums to view masterpieces from the medieval and Renaissance periods.
When you go to Verona to send your letter to Juliet, have a seat at a café in the Piazza dei Signore and order a Rosso Veronese, Soave or Valpolicello Classico as you gaze at the imposing statue of Dante. Think about Shakespeare embellishing Romeo and Juliet’s love story in this romantic “City of Love”. Sign up for cooking lessons at Villa Giona, associated with the Allegrini Winery, to seal the deal with Miss or Mr. McDreamy!
Dine at Osteria Sottoriva on Via Sattoriva and try some asparagus lasagna. Arche and Il Desco offer outstanding regional cuisine. There are two Buon Ricordo restaurant options near Verona: ( 1) Gardesana in Torri del Benacoke on the eastern Riviera of Lake Garda is located at Piazza Calderini, 20 (www.hotel-gardesana.com). Order the whitefish filet in sweet and sour sauce and gaze at the glistening lake from the terrace and (2) Ristorante 12 Apostoli on Vicolo Corticella S. Marco, 3 (www.12apostoli.it) offers a delightful duck breast in Amarone wine. This restaurant has a 250 year history.
Verona has a long and strong history of wine production with high quality and high productivity. On the Veronese Riviera, Lake Garda is synonymous with the Bardolino red wine zone and winery tours can be arranged at the Enoteca del Bardolino and at the Wine Museum of the Zeni estate. The Valpolicella appellation was declared 2009’s winemaking region of the year by Wine Enthusiast. Amarone and Recioto wines were upgraded to DOCG status. Amarone is my favorite Italian red wine. It is made from the partially dried grapes including: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.
In April of each year, Verona hosts “Vinitaly.” It is the country’s largest wine exhibition where you can taste thousands of wines from around the world. www.vinitaly.com Here are some red wines you want to try in Verona: Amarone della Valpolicella, Bardolino Superiore, Cabernet Franc e Sauvignon, Chiaretto del Garda, Valpolicella and Raboso del Piave. To learn more about Italy read Vino con Vista Travel Guides www.vino-con-vista.com
If you are planning a trip to Vinitaly or Verona, consider these hotels:
|Byblos Art Hotel Amista (15th century villa) Hotel Gabbia Doro (in town)www.hotelgabbiadoro.it Due Torri Hotel Baglioni (14th century building)www.baglionihotels.com.On Lake Garda, stay at the Grand Hotel A Villa Feltrinelli www.villafeltrinelli.com|
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