words by Carol King
Verona city council is introducing fines against those pinning love notes on the walls of the entrance to Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House).
Anyone found attaching sentimental tokens to the wall will face a fine of €500. The move comes in response to the unsightly proliferation of love notes pinned to the 13th-century building, often using chewing gum. The practice arose because some people believe the romantic gesture of writing their and their beloved’s names on a note then attaching it to the wall symbolises everlasting love.
Juliet’s House has become a popular tourist attraction because of its possible connection to the heroine in William Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, which is set in Verona. It is thought that the house is the former home of the Cappello family, who may have been the model for the Capulets in the bard’s romantic tragedy.
The house has a balcony, which is purported to be where Romeo and Juliet declared their love for each other. Historians point out that it is unlikely the star-crossed lovers of the play ever existed. There is a bronze statue of Juliet in the small courtyard.
The council is also prohibiting the consumption of food and drink at the site and writing graffiti on the walls of the tunnel that leads into the courtyard. However, love-struck visitors can write messages on removable panels that the council has installed at the site.