Verona: happy birthday Juliet
In the first weekend of September the city of lovers will celebrate the birth of the beautiful Capulet with lots of singing, letters, and romantic toasting
Every September for the past 20 years comes a special day for Verona:
the birthday of Juliet, the date of which is taken to be true based on the historical literature research done by Professor Giuseppe Franco Viviani. He based his work on the novella by Luigi da Porto, which describes the story of two tragic Veronese lovers at the time of the Scaliger family that was told long before the words of Shakespeare were published. The words of the novella tell of Juliet’s 18th birthday on the day of Sant’ Eufemia; Viviani consulted astronomical databases and used those to calculate an exact date: September 16, 1284 in the year of Bartolomeo della Scala’s dominion.
For countless tourists and lovers, Verona is a mythic and magical place where dreams of love come true, where thousands of people come to visit the house of Capulet to take pictures on the famous balcony or to rub the statue of Juliet for good luck.
About 10,000 letters arrive every year from all over the world addressed simply, “Juliet, Verona,” and every sender can expect to receive a personal reply from a “secretary” of the Juliet Club, the Veronese society that also organizes the day of celebration in honor of the young Capulet. The focus of the event is to bring together people from all over the world in the Piazza dei Signori and Cortile del Mercato Vecchio to enjoy the works of numerous artists and artisans set up in the square; it will also be host to many musical and theatrical shows. Guided tours following Juliet’s footsteps through famous sites like her home and tomb are in the program for extra entertainment and enjoyment. At the end we will all enjoy a special toast in honor of Juliet with the Gerardo Cesari fine wines of Verona.