Okay, so I am not the most well travelled person in the world, but I have done Europe, so I thought with the summer holidays happening right now, I will look back over the places I’ve been to give you a taste of what it’s like, things to do and just my overall opinion. So for the first in my travel archive is so far my favourite place in the whole entire world, I love Italy but I am completely in love with Verona. If it was possible to marry a place, I would marry Verona which is funny really because Verona is the setting for Romeo and Juliet, the most iconic love story in the world. I actually decided as soon as I left the car park that Verona was where I was going to get married (I have a Pinterest board), so I think by now you can tell that Verona is at the top of my travel recommended list.
The film Letters to Juliet was my film obsession for years, although it was pretty crap and cheesy I found myself captivated by the idea that there was a group of women who’s job it is to reply to letters left at Juliet’s Balcony on behalf of Juliet with advice on love. That idea appealed to the hopeless romantic of me especially when I found out that you could really write a letter to Juliet and receive a reply. So of course, I did it, I wrote an over the top and extremely dramatic letter about my love life to guarantee a reply, then left the letter where we were staying, ran back for it, then finally posted it into the postbox at Juliet’s Balcony.
So that comes to my musts when in Verona, you MUST visit Juliet’s Balcony and whilst you are there you MUST post a letter to Juliet and you MUST write on the wall. Although I visited Verona with my boyfriend Ben and I would say this is a no.1 romantic getaway location, it’s not just for those in relationships it’s beautiful and at Juliet’s balcony, there’s just a sense of excitement in the atmosphere. Maybe that’s the reason I felt so at home here and I could spend days just exploring.
Although Juliet’s balcony is not hard to find at all, we struggled, although there is a sign in the main square and it’s only a 2-minute walk from that point we spent a good half an hour looking for the balcony and ended up having a bit of translation issue with a lady at the information place. So if you are heading there, follow the signs and the crowds and you will be there in 2 minutes! You walk through a gate and an archway in which you can write on the wall (I’ll get to that in a minute), and then it opens up to a small square courtyard crammed to the edges with tourists from every part of the world. Although Romeo and Juliet is not real, there is something that captivates me about the story and something kind of magical about the balcony. Saying that there’s 2 things you can do in there that I did not do and I wouldn’t recommend.
Okay, so I don’t know if it’s just me but no part of me wants to put my hand on the boob of a statue of Juliet, it’s a thing everyone does and gets a photo of but I have no idea why and to be honest I find the idea of groping essentially a teenage girl’s boob for a photo very odd and leaves poor Juliet with one very shiny boob. I pushed through the crowds and got a photo of course but didn’t cop a feel, but if you want to for no apparent reason, go for it! Second thing I wouldn’t do is actually go into Juliet’s House, it’s pricey, unlike the entrance to the courtyard which is free, and Juliet isn’t real so I feel it’s kind of a tourist trap, but if you want to get a photo of yourself on the balcony then that is the only way.
As I mentioned earlier the main reason I wanted to go to Verona was to post a letter to Juliet, unlike the film you don’t post them into the stones in the wall you post them into a little house letter box on the left-hand side as you walk into the courtyard, it kind of high up so if you are short like me you may need some assistance! Make sure you write your address somewhere on the letter so they can reply to you, but you don’t need to include an addressed envelope or stamp. You can actually visit the Juliet Club in Verona who respond to the letters, which I didn’t do, but next time I go I certainly will!
Inside the courtyard there is a place for ‘love locks’ which I didn’t realise, but if you didn’t bring one fear not! You can also write yours and your loved one’s name with the date you visited on the walls inside the gate. Although it is just a badly drawn biro heart on a wall, it’s amazing to think part of us is in Verona. (Even though my boyfriend said to me they probably paint over the wall every season, probably true, but I still hold on to my romantic idea!)
In terms of other things to do in Verona I would say just spend the day wandering the streets, walk along the river, explore and eat amazing food from little restaurants and the market. Spend the time really taking it all in and maybe taking an arty Instagram or 2! Although I would say try and be cultural and avoid getting sucked into shops like Zara, I would recommend visiting the department store Excelsior, although I felt I couldn’t touch anything, it was a stunning shop. It gave Harrods a run for it’s money, those Italians know how to do a department store! I wish I’d taken a picture of their window displays because they were equally as beautiful and creative as the store itself. Ben and I also have a thing for going into the Disney Store wherever we go, so although I did say be cultural, go to the Disney Store. It’s always awesome wherever you are.
On another uncultural note, go take a look at an Italian McDonald’s. I’m saying no more than that.
So that is all I got up to when I visited Verona. Unfortunately I wasn’t staying in Verona itself but on Lake Garda, so I may do some more posts about my other travels whilst I was in my favourite country in the world! (So far.)
So until next time,