In the Footsteps of Shakespeare: the Castles of Romeo and Juliet in Montecchio Maggiore

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Walking through the green hills of Montecchio Maggiore, in the province of Vicenza, you’ll come face to face with the two castles that embodied a legend. They stand close together on the hill. Restoration began in the 1930s on the two fortresses that have been identified as the dwellings belonging to the two characters of the famous Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet.

©Beatrice Cailotto

Not everyone knows that the great English playwright was inspired to write his masterpiece by Luigi Da Porto‘s novel. Da Porto was from Vicenza and esteemed by Pietro Bembo himself. Da Porto’s novel was revised by the Dominican friar Matteo Bandello, and later translated into French. The narrative made its way to William Shakespeare who transformed it into the immortal work that has become a legend.

Regardless of whether or not they belonged to the Montecchi (Montague) and Capuleti (Capulet) families, the two castles in Montecchio Maggiore offer a unique experience not only for romantics but also for history buffs. From Juliet’s castle, slightly higher on the hill, you can see a spectacular view of the Venetian fields and hills, and above all, the castle of beloved Romeo, just a few meters below. You’ll find yourself immersed in the legend, and the play’s unforgettable verses will suddenly come back to mind. The most imaginative will envision the small, protruding wooden terrace as the very one on which Juliet secretly waited for her Romeo.

Juliet’s Castle also houses a restaurant where events such as weddings and graduations can be organized.

In Romeo’s Castle, especially in the summer, space is set up for concerts, performances, and shows.

Article & photos by: Beatrice Cailotto