Hidden treasures

The castles of Romeo and Juliet in Montecchio Maggiore

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The castles of Romeo and Juliet in Montecchio Maggiore

In the province of Vicenza, in the small town of Montecchio Maggiore, there are two castles that look at each other from two hills close to each other... According to a legend spread in the mid-nineteenth century, Luigi da Porto, when writing his Historia novellamente ritrovata - which William Shakespeare based himself upon when writing the tragedy Romeo and Juliet - was inspired by these two castles located not far from his villa in Montorso Vicentino. Today the two fortresses are called 'the Castles of Romeo and Juliet'.

Luigi Da Porto, a man-at-arms and a scholar from Vicenza (1485-1529), wrote the short story in his home in Montorso Vicentino, where he had retired after having abandoned his military life following a serious wound to his face he suffered in battle. From the windows of his villa he saw these two castles almost in opposition to each other: this image may have inspired the creation of the novel, also taking into account the combination between the name of Montecchio and that of Montecchi, attributed by Da Porto to the family of Romeo.

The legend that attributes the two fortresses to the Verona families of the Montecchi and the Capuleti, making them the dwellings of Romeo and Juliet, entered strongly in folk culture in the mid-nineteenth century, a period in which romantic culture was in full swing and the charm of medieval ruins, especially if used as a setting for fascinating events, was high.

Despite these castles are located in the province of Vicenza, Verona is undoubtedly the city of the two unlucky lovers... If you are interested in reliving their deeds, one of the itineraries offered by our Your Own Verona is precisely a tour to discover the places of Romeo and Juliet in Verona!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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