This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
Though some might leave their romantic destinies to fate, in Verona, faith is placed in medieval brick. As the setting of Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the city plays host to thousands of visitors a year wishing to find love and pay respects to the characters that so embody fairytale romance. A few blocks away from the Baroque-styled post office on the Piazza Francesco Viviani, letters are sent without the use of a mailbox.
La Casa di Giulietta, or the House of Juliet, is as fictitious as the world-famous story. While the home itself was mostly constructed in the 13th century, and was once the estate of the Capello family, the inspiration for the Capulets, the supposed balcony that Juliet stood from was built in the 20th Century after the city purchased the building in 1905 for a tourism campaign. That hasn’t stopped the many hopeful romantics from stopping by and leaving a letter to Juliet or writings on the house’s courtyard walls.
By the 1990s, the house and its historic bricks were so overloaded with wishes and requests for Juliet to intercede in relationship troubles that a volunteer force of “secretaries” was formed to answer these wishful letters. Receiving more than 6,000 letters a year, “The Juliet Club” seeks to give advice and helpful guidance to lovelorn letter-writers on Juliet’s behalf. All volunteers, the secretaries write in multiple languages, and sometimes work together on a response if a letter requires more of Juliet’s attention.
Regardless of Romeo and Juliet’s ending, the letters continue to trickle into the ancient city of Verona and be sent to the tragic lovers. Postage from the Francesco Viviani post office is not required for delivery.
Written By: Seamus McMahon
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