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As with many of Shakespeare's plays, there is a small element of truth to Romeo and Juliet's storyline. Two Veronese families, the Montecchi and the Cappelletti, did have a long-standing feud like the Montagues and Capulets in the play. Although the characters of Romeo and Juliet were fictional, Juliet has come to have a romantic life of her own in the heart of Verona. The tragic plot of star-crossed lovers has long inspired visitors from around the world to stand on the balcony of Juliet's House, known as the Casa di Giulietta. This palazzo, part of which dates from the 13th century, belonged to the Dal Cappello family and is now one of the most-visited tourist sites in the city.
Juliet's House should be top of any list of what to do in Verona, especially if you're considering taking a flight from Monaco to Verona. From the airport, the city center is an easy drive and you'll find Juliet's Balcony on the Via Cappello. At the palazzo, you will also find a small museum, a bronze statue of Juliet in the courtyard and an entrance that's always covered in love letters - over 50,000 letters a year are addressed to the house. And, if you're still looking for love, be sure to rub the right breast of Juliet's statue.
Continue the Romeo and Juliet theme by visiting the Capuchin Monastery of San Francesco al Corso. A 15-minute walk from Juliet's House, and just outside the city walls, many believe this is where the final tragic events of Shakespeare's play unfolded. In a small atmospheric crypt beneath the monastery is a red sarcophagus that legend says is the burial place of Juliet. While at the monastery look out for its wonderful 16th-century frescoes.
Juliet's House is always popular, particularly so around Valentine's Day. It is open from early morning to late afternoon from Tuesday to Sunday and on Monday afternoons. Standard tickets cost €6 while concessions start at €1. Entry is free with a Verona Card. Opening hours are the same for Juliet's Tomb.