Press Review: Oprah Magazine 02/2017

Meet the Volunteers Who Answer Love Letters to Shakespeare’s Juliet

From a small office in fair Verona, Giovanna Tamassia responds to happy and hapless sweethearts alike.
giovanna tamassia
Photo: Annalisa Conter

It’s believed that the notes have been arriving for more than a century, with a photograph of some dating back to the late 1800s. Many are mailed to Verona, Italy, addressed simply to Juliet—yes, that Juliet, of “wherefore art thou” fame; others are tucked into the cracks of her symbolic tomb in San Francesco al Corso monastery. All tell tales of love: bashful first kisses, broken hearts, and enduring companionship.

In the late 1930s, Ettore Solimani, the custodian of Juliet’s grave, began answering the notes, signing off as “Juliet’s secretary.” Today a group of volunteers known as Club di Giulietta, or the Juliet Club, replies to some 10,000 letters annually. Leading the missive mission? Club manager Giovanna Tamassia. We tracked her down for a heart-to-heart:

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