The House of Juliet, Verona, Italy
Love has an undeniable power. There’s a strength in the emotion that is indefinable and seems endless.
It’s so strong that it can defeat logic, neutralise rational thought and influence decisions. In other words, it’s exactly what salespeople are looking for.
Enter stage left, the House of Juliet in Verona. The brainchild of an Italian marketer, it is a money-spinner that only love could make so successful.
There’s a simple formula to making a fortune in this instance.
- Find one of history’s most enduring love stories. Romeo and Juliet – tick!
- Identify the city in which it is set. Verona, Italy – tick!
- Choose the most iconic location from this love story. Juliet’s balcony – tick!
- Locate an old building that needs some patronage from tourists – tick!
- Build a balcony – tick!
- Call it Juliet’s House – tick!
- Sit back and let the money roll in – disarm doors and cross-tick!
Letters to Juliet
There is absolutely no room to move in the courtyard at the House of Juliet. This isn’t even the height of summer but already it is full of tourists.
I’ve had to push my way through doting boyfriends, lovestruck girlfriends, indulgent husbands and adoring wives.
It’s as though they’re trying to be obstructionist and they’ve singled me out (pun intended).
Some choose to go inside the house for 6 euros each, mainly so they can take photos of each other on the balcony. Others have just come for a look but get sucked in by the merchandise and the cafes and shops in the courtyard.
Regardless, there’s a lot of money changing hands at a landmark that has nothing to do with its name.
Juliet’s House in Verona is a monument to love. The artists: thousands of people over many years who have left their mark on the walls and anyone else they can scribble.
They’ve written names inside hearts, affixed locks to a gate, and even stuck their mutually-chewed gums on every possible surface. Almost every space that could be covered is covered.
Didn’t I say that love neutralises rational thought?
Still, I understand that Verona is a romantic place and I’m not a complete grinch. So, here are a few suggestions for experiences that will get your heart racing:
15 thoughts on “The power of love”
I stood on that balcony once. I was 15 and it was a million years ago, not really crowded and no love locks or other… stuff. Looks like it has taken off enormously.
I can imagine it would’ve been a very different experience without the crowds. Now it’s just a big mess of marketing.
Oh wow, cheesefest to the extreme! You are a tolerant man to have stomached this. I couldn’t have done it.
It took every bit of stomach I had. Thankfully after weeks of Italian food I had plenty! 🙂
I guess love is one of those overwhelming emotions so things that speak to that emotion resonate well and draw in people. I get that R&J is a great love story, but it ends so tragically. It always bothered me as a kid that it was so popular with such a tragic (and fully avoidable with communication) ending.
Perhaps it should serve as a good example of why communication is important in any relationship. Although they didn’t have mobile phones back in those days so it wouldn’t have been as easy just to SMS each other.
Weren’t they smart to set up Juliet’s balcony? Shakespeare was smart to write such a saleable story too, somehow tragic love always has its appeal 🙂
Very smart! And I’m sure Shakespeare did it all for marketing too. After all, he was trying to sell tickets to his shows!
That is THE most romantic wall of gum and graffiti I’ve ever seen! OK, it’s the only romantic wall of gum and graffiti I’ve ever seen, but still… Great photos, Michael!
Ha ha – love it! 🙂
Wow! Don’t know if I’d be willing to brave those crowds.
It’s not worth it! Quite an orgy of love going on there…
A little overly-sickly-sweet on the ooey-gooey-lovey-dovey factor, but an interesting piece nevertheless!
And yes…Shakespeare was a marketing genius for the balcony =P
Yeah, I suppose it was interesting, even if it was for all the wrong reasons! 🙂
I completely love reading other blogs that are a bit cynical about Juliet’s balcony!
I went there this year and it was hectic and horrible… just a bunch of people crammed into a small courtyard, trying to feel up a statue of Juliet (seriously, who was the first person to rub her breast for good luck, I hope the statue comes alive and gives him a good slap). I think Romeo and Juliet is a bit of a shallow romance, and Juliet’s balcony is an equally shallow tourist gimmick. But hey, at least it gives us something to write about! If you’re interested I wrote a blog on the balcony too (http://www.anxiousadventurers.com/juliets-house-verona-casa-di-giulietta/)