Verona: being Juliet (and eating Nutella pizza)

Verona was the next place on my list to visit.

A small town, on the way to Venice, made famous by that Shakespeare play. You know the one.
“Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo?”.

So, I’ll be honest the main reason I wanted to go was because “Juliet’s Balcony” is here.  Which kind of makes me a MASSIVE tourist because of course Romeo and Juliet is fictional, (I mean Shakespeare never even went to Verona!) so the whole thing i.e. iconic balcony, was made up.

Kind of makes me wonder how they did it.

Like, did they just randomly pick someone's balcony and decide that from now on it was going to be the place where Juliet had her late-night secret encounters?

Normally I would try and stay away from anything so touristy but Verona is just so beautiful that you completely forget that none of it ever existed and begin to believe that the star-crossed lovers really fell in love here. 

Especially because the old town is still surrounded by the boundary walls, so it's as if you are leaving reality behind and stepping (quite literally) into the fairy tale, the magic of Shakespeare protected and preserved from the outside world.

How romaaaaantic.

But Shakespeare aside for a moment.

Because it was here that I tried NUTELLA PIZZA for the first time! And that is a worthy interuption.

I'm not saying this was the highlight of my trip but it was seriously yummy.

Salty pizza base and sweet, hazlenut chocolate is the peeerfect combination.

Please don't be put off because it's Nutella on Pizza. Sometimes you just have to step outside of your comfort zone (that's what the year abroad is all about right?).

So just promise me you'll try it OK? 

(but by the way half a slice will probably be enough because you can have too much of a good thing).

Our hunger satisfied (don't worry we did eat normal pizza too for our "late" lunch) the hunt continued for the tourist information office.

I don't know what it is with Italy and information, but those two things just don't go (I'm talking about randomly disappearing signs e.t.c)

It took us about half an hour to find the place which would give us a map...which is kind of hard without the map in the first place. Oh the irony!
But seriously. who hides a tourist information office in the corner, behind a tower in the biggest square in the city?! (yeah Italy, I'm talking about you).

Finally we knew where we were going and where all importantly, la casa di Giullietta was. 

Leaving the map reading to mia amica (my track records with maps are not good) she navigated us through the winding streets, which surprisingly were filled with big brand shops (I think there was even a HandM in there somewhere) to the famous Balcony. 

You could easily miss it.

It's down a little side street, in a tiny little courtyard. Cute yeah, but not exactly how I had imagined Juliet's house. Personally, I thought she would've lived in a huge villa with sprawling gardens and roses and things. But then maybe that's because of the films' I've watched which may or may not have included a baby-faced Leonardo di Caprio (makes the perfect Romeo don't ya think?).

You can just admire the balcony from outside in the courtyard or pay like we did and go into the house. 

Essentially this is just paying 4,50 so you can have a picture on the balcony, because the house really doesn't have much in it. I mean, it would've been helpful to somehow recount the story, for those of us who need to read the play need a refresh of how the story goes.
(I did actually study it for GCSE English all those years ago now, gulp!).
me being Juliet. I could totally be her, name's almost the same!
That's one sexy dress...
getting all the ladies with this outfit!
You can however send a message to "Juliet" which is pretty cool. She will reply to your email address...although I'm still waiting, but then there's probably not much you can say to I'm sorry that you died...

In the courtyard outside the house stands a statue of the lovely girl herself (half naked of course as all statues seem to be) which will be surrounded by jostling tourists all eager to touch her right boob.

You know for good luck! (don't know why it is specifically the right boob. Also who decided it was good luck to touch her boob?).

But I stood my ground and waited for that picture.

One of those times when you really wish queuing was such an institution as it is in Britain. #Britishproblems

But the most romantic and genuine thing of them all...the wall of love letters.

It's nice to know that among all the horrible things that happen in the world, honest, real love still exists, whether it's between men and women (same sexes included), friends, sisters, brothers or a parent and their child.

Our hearts and heads filled with all the love, we left Juliet and her Balcony to wander around the rest of the city.
Piazza dell'Erbe

The Arena AKA mini Colosseum where operas are performed 

Stopping, on the way for an ice-cream (of course).

An ice-cream flower- how cute!
So I would definitely recommend a visit, especially if you don't have much time (or don't want to get up early) because Verona is tiny so an afternoon is plenty of time!

But what a lovely afternoon it was!

Shakespeare couldn't have picked a more perfect setting for the greatest love story of all time.