William Shakespeare had never been to Verona, so why was it the chosen location for one of the most famous tragic love stories of all time? Romeo and Juliet <3
When you visit Verona and see Juliet’s house, balcony and tomb, Romeo’s house, and the place of Romeo and Tybalt’s duel, you realise that there really could have been no other place more perfect than Verona to have set the story. In Verona you feel a sense of love, the historical buildings and narrow cobble streets give the perfect setting for Romeo and Juliet‘s devotion to one another, so perfect that you would think that the story was written whilst looking at the fascinating and captivating city of Verona, well in a way it actually was…….
In around 1595, William Shakespeare wrote ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ based on a poem written by Arthur Brooke called ‘The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet’. Brooke wrote the poem in 1562 which was a translated version of an Italian novel ‘Giuletta e Romeo’, this novel was based on Luigi Da Porto’s ‘Historia Novellamente Ritrovata di Due Amanti’ (A Story Newly Found of Two Noble Lovers).
Da Porto was an Italian novelist in the 1530’s who dedicated his novel to Lucina, she was the love of his life who married another man after her guardian and Da Porto’s uncle had conflicts. He created the characters Romeus and Giulietta and wrote the tragedy whilst living in Vicenza, a city approx 30 miles from Verona, where from his villa he could see the towers of the enchanting city Verona.
This blog is dedicated to my friend Emma, who asked me 2 years ago the question ‘why did William Shakespeare set the story in Verona?’