Sunday, July 29, 2012

Verona Part II: Juliet's Balcony

This stop was one of those "must do" items for Verona, but it definitely didn't have the romantic feel we were expecting. It was extremely busy (although you can't really tell that from the pictures) and Cole was pushing Eva in the stroller... struggling to get through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. One thing we really miss about home is the general courteous way of Americans. We have found that Europeans just sort of walk wherever in public and don't really move out of the way. It's one of those tendencies that comes across as rude, but it's really more of a cultural difference that we're still adjusting to. It could be that we, as Americans have too much of a possessive claim over personal space, if that makes any sense... I'm sure it's a little bit of both. That's a topic for another post though.

Anyway, Juliet's balcony certainly wasn't the quiet,  romantic setting that Shakespeare depicted. First, you had to walk through a hallway covered in chewed gum (Darn! We had thrown ours away... should have saved it.) and scribbled declarations of love. Visitors are supposed to leave something behind for Juliet.

It has a romantic feel to it, doesn't it? :) Yes, I'm posting a pic of ABC gum.

There is even a club of volunteers who respond to emails and letters written to Juliet. They'll reply with personalized love-life advice, which I'm sure is most helpful. There were some little phones in this hallway, too. I guess you can also call with questions that just can't wait...

Literally, it was shoulder-to-shoulder with lots of young, excited teenage girls - and Cole doesn't do crowds. Have I mentioned that before? :) There were tons of locks along the gate by the statue of Juliet, it's said that locking yours ensures that your love will last forever. Aside from the crowd, the balcony really was beautiful... it was extra challenging trying to get a picture of it without people on the balcony, since you can go out onto the balcony for photos. 

We also posed for the mandatory breast-rubbing pictures. They say it's lucky in love and life to rub Juliet's right breast. Look how shiny and polished she is, poor girl. Tradition or not, it sort of felt wrong. 

I'm sure he's thinking... "My wife made me do this." :)
This is an awful picture, but yes I did it too.