juliet's house in verona

March 11, 2010

So, you've probably already figured out that I have a thing for Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet in particular. (I mean I named my daughter "Juliet" after all!)

So, you can imagine that I was a more than a little bit excited when I learned that the city of Verona (the setting of the play) was nearby Milan. We didn't know this prior to going, but were able to make a quick stop to see some of the touristy Romeo and Juliet stuff--in particular, Juliet's house. 

Here is the courtyard to the house known as "Juliet's House." The city has turned it into a tourist attraction for fans to enjoy. You can see the balcony on the right. 

There is a statue of Juliet in the courtyard. We had Juliet stand next to her and had her picture taken with her namesake. The funny thing is--she had no idea what was going on. I've never told her the story or anything about Shakespeare at all!

You had to pay to go up to the balcony, so Ben sent Juliet and I up while he waited below to take our picture. As we were walking up, I said, "Let's go see Juliet's balcony!" Excited, she just smiled at me. 

We stepped out onto the balcony and waved to Ben and the crowd below. A lot of people were taking pictures, not of us, but of the building in general. Juliet looked at me and said, "Everybody LOVES my balcony!" 

After a few moments of enjoying the view, we stepped back inside and walked through the rest of the house. There was a room with computers where you could type a letter to Juliet. I had us type a quick note and then Juliet pressed "send." 

I said, "Okay, we just sent the letter to Juliet!" And she said, "What Juliet?" And I said, "The Juliet whose house this is." And she said, "Huh?" And then I explained, "There's a story about a girl named Juliet. She spends time on a balcony like the one we were just on." 

In a hushed voice of amazement, she replied, "There's a book about ME?!" 

I think she's a bit young for the story yet, but I cannot wait until we get to read that story together one day! We took lots of pictures of her that I think she will appreciate even more when she gets older. 

Until then, the only age-appropriate book I've found is this one--Ricky the Singing Cricket by Jane Brierley--which is not about the story at all, but features a scene of Romeo Hare and Juliet Bunny. I always tell her that the Bunny shares her name. It's never seemed to have sunken in, but we read it again today and I pointed out the balcony and I think I saw a flash of understanding in her eyes. She smiled and said, "Hey. That's just like me." 

Did you ever discover a character in a book or play that shares your name? How did you feel when you found it? 


Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

That is so cute!!! She is positively precious!

Ticia said...

Sadly no one shares my name :)
But one of my boys has discovered that a couple of different times, the only problem is his brother hasn't been able to make the same discovery, it's not as common a name.
My daughter just doesn't seem to care as much, she's perfectly willing to change her name to the character at the time.

Amber said...

What a fantastic day trip! That's awesome you were so close. I love the picture book. Just wish the book told the actual story. It would be totally adorable when acted out by bunnies and hares.

And Ticia, my daughter's the same way. I'm forever asking her, "Who are you right now?"

Raising a Happy Child said...

This is so awesome that you could visit Verona and hopefully will do it again when Juliet is older. My Russian name is Natasha, the same as a famous War and Peace character. I remember writing an essay in school about her, and how I would never be such an idiot. Anna will have enough namesakes too - we already read several books where the main character was Anna. She is always pretty excited when it happens.

oh amanda said...

Yeah. It might be awhile before you can tell Juliet her namesake dies. :(

Oh, I just told you about my namesake yesterday---Amanda Hunnicutt in The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser!! I felt like the author and I must be best friends.

Jackie said...

What a wonderful trip! I have never been out of the country before. It looks like you saw some beautiful things.

I am named after one of my mom's college friends, so it wasn't book related. However, my Grandma's name was Beverly and her mother named her after a book. I inherited the book and it is very old. I will have to look, but I think it is over 100 years old now. I have never read it, but I should.

Julie said...

What a cute story and wonderful that you got a chance to visit! It's a shame there isn't a version of the story for kids, I suppose it is a bit tragic! Maybe just the falling in love on the balcony part!

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