While in Italy, I decided to take a little trip by myself to Verona, Italy.
Verona is where Shakespeare’s beloved novel, Romeo & Juliet took place. I was especially intrigued to visit Verona after learning about Club di Giulietta, or Juliet’s Club.
People from all over the world write to Juliet to share their stories of love and heart break and to ask for her advice. For more information about Club di Giuletta, I encourage you to take a look at this article here.
So although my journey may not be one of heartbreak or love I decided to write this blog post in letter form to Juliet. Happy reading.
As much as I love to travel, I will be the first to admit that the idea of traveling alone is a little frightening. This summer, my brother spent two weeks backpacking through Europe by himself. When he first proposed his idea to me – an intricately planned journey through England and Iceland – I thought he was crazy! But when he came back home with so many amazing stories, I was truly inspired.
As ready as I was to broaden my horizons and set my foot in a new country, I had my doubts. The idea of studying in Italy sounded exciting but the idea of leaving everything I knew behind was a little frightening – and it was a huge step for me.
I have always loved to explore new places, but not often on my own. Just the thought made me incredibly anxious. But while studying abroad in Italy, there were places I wanted to visit. And there just wasn’t always someone to visit these places with.
So rather than wait around and find someone to go with, I decided that Verona was one of the places I would visit on my own.
Verona is located only two hours from Florence by train. Although I wasn’t traveling a long distance, I was doing something that I truly wanted to do and not letting anything stop me.- not any of my doubts, and certainly not my anxiety.
On a rainy Friday morning, I stepped foot in Verona. I checked into my hotel , I received a map from the concierge and headed to Piazza Bra.
Located right in the middle of the piazza is Arena di Verona, a conserved roman amphitheater. It was fascinating to witness something that had been so carefully preserved after years and years.
Then, I headed towards my main destination, the Club di Giuletta, hoping that I could finally respond to at least a couple of the many beautiful letters that are sent to you. Just for one day, Juliet, I was hoping to be one of your personal secretaries!
But my destination was actually a lot more difficult to find than I had anticipated.I asked people on the street for directions, and most of them had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, or they thought I was looking for the house of Juliet. Nobody knew anything about this so-called”club”.. So here I found myself lost in the middle of little Verona.
Yet being lost was an experience in itself that I actually do not regret one bit…
I met quite a few interesting people, and every one of them tried to help me as best as they could. I met one really friendly young Italian woman who spoke English was more than happy to help me. I told her what I was looking for,and as we walked we talked for a while. She was also living in Florence and was currently visiting Verona for the wine festival.
She led me to the House of Juliet. Although it wasn’t what I was looking for, it was still a great experience! I saw the wall where thousands of people have left notes and pictures for you. And of course, your statue that is believed to good luck.
We agreed we would stay in touch, and after we parted ways, I was still determined to find the Club di GIuletta. Later during the day, I wandered back to the street where my map had first led me, and sure enough, I found it! I must have missed it because it was almost hidden, set back from the rest of the street in a stone alcove. I had made it there just ten minutes before it closed!
So unfortunately, while I did not get the opportunity to respond to any of the physical letters, one of the secretaries informed me that the club receives thousands of emails written to you, Juliet.After I told her about how much I loved to write, she encouraged me to leave my email address with her so that she could send me some of these letters and I could respond to them.
I was mostly inspired to visit Verona because it’s where your story took place.As I am beginning to discover new things, people, and places on my own, I couldn’t be more content.
Thank you Juliet for giving me this opportunity to venture out on my own and truly enjoy every moment in Verona.
P.S. Of all the places I have visited in Italy, Verona remains one of my favorites. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”