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?