The fair city of Verona | Day 81 of my 2023 Journal
This is a general warning for everyone who loves Shakespeare. For everyone who loves literature. Maybe for everyone in general.
Do not visit Juliet's house in Verona. Don't go anywhere near it. Not if you hold your view on humanity, dear.
Let me first share the journey of going.
Interestingly the drive from Bologne to Verona was through a landscape of canals and farmland, with thousands of plastic greenhouses. The water did not move and was rotting, probably because of fertilization of the soil, and there was not much beauty to be seen — some trees in blossom, a single house or two. The roads between the canals were collapsing, and the whole drive was a bit scary for all of the above reasons.
What was scarier was Verona, not in and of itself. It IS a fair city. It has a beautiful park on top and behind the old city wall, beautiful houses and balconies, and an arena very much like the Colosseum.
The closer we got to Juliet's house, the more something was off.
The walls were covered with small black writing (hearts and names), key locks everywhere, tourist shops, tourist groups, shopping shopping shopping. We arrived at the courtyard simultaneously with two tourist groups both, guided by loudspeakers.
It was a chaos of sound and people.
There is a statue of Juliet, and I am sorry to inform you all that everyone, as in EVERYONE, took photos of themselves and each other with one hand on her breast.
Two or three shops INSIDE the courtyard sold cheap and ugly stuff, all heart-shaped and fluffy.
We fled the scene.
We had hoped for huge bookshops with a thousand illustrated versions of the famous play in 200 languages.
We had hoped for postcards with our famous quotes.
We had hoped for a devotion to literature and love. What we got instead was depressing.
We found silent streets. We looked at the river. Talked about following our hearts via the secret signs always available: beauty, curiosity, and happiness.
Once we did that, everything changed.
Verona was again a fair city. We had our first vegan pistachio gelato. We walked along the castle and bridge in the sunset. We found the organic shop.
It was all good.
Love and light
Where are we now?
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