“France is so romantic,” everyone tells you before you begin travelling.
Paris is pretty and Nice is, well, nice. However the people that tell you that France is one of the most romantic places in Europe clearly haven’t been to Italy.
Verona is situated in north-west Italy and isn’t all that far from Venice. At first, it appears to be rather a sprawling city, however the centre of it is where the culture buzzes and the magic begins to unfold.
Of course, one can’t mention Verona without Romeo and Juliet. They’re synonymous. The love story of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers.
Verona is the birthplace of the original Juliet. In Verona, you can visit Juliet’s courtyard, over which hangs the famous stone balcony which she stood on. In the movie Letters to Juliet, women struggling with love from around the world leave letters in the wall for the Sisters of Juliet to write back to them.
However now, the leaving of letters on the wall is banned. Romantic? Not quite!
But nevertheless, feel free to rub the right breast of the gold statue of Juliet, as it is said to bring luck in love! How is it so – that a person who lived hundreds of years ago is still influencing romance today? The whole idea of a modern day romance seems to span from the story of Romeo and Juliet, and their story is repeated the world over in differents contexts.
Juliet’s Courtyard is not the only romantic thing about Verona though! No! Meander through the cobblestoned streets and breathe in the aromas of coffee and fresh cones being made to accompany the handmade gelato. Perhaps a pizza to share and an aperol spritz (or three!)? Or some coffee and gelato-filled macarons?
My favourite part of Verona to be honest was along the river, where flowers adorned the houses and the views were spectacular.
I fell in love with that city right there and then.
Later that evening, though, I found myself at an Italian restaurant with a platter of shaved meats and cheeses in front of me, and a large glass of Italian sparkling wine.
The waitor and chef made the effort to chat me and bring me titbits of different cheeses, meats and desserts to try when they weren’t serving other tables. I was happy and content and spent longer in the restaurant than I would have had I been just merely dining alone.
Italy is a country of incredible history and sights. But beyond that, I believe that the romantic notion of Italy comes from the people. They are generous and kind and exuberant. They love life and they want everyone who comes to Italy to fall in love with their way of life.
And that, I believe, is where the romance of Italy comes from.
- Yes, I visited the romantic city of Verona by myself.
- Yes, it was quite depressing since I appeared to be the only single one in the entire city.
- Yes, I wished my boyfriend would appear.
- No, he didn’t.