A love-bringing custom in Verona – The Secret of Julia’s Breasts
Verona, the city of love, the place where the most beautiful and tragic love story was told. Through this city, Shakespeare described the story of a tragic love between Romeo and Juliet. Verona is also a city of beautiful art and architecture, located on the banks of the river. Synonym for an eternal youthful love, is precisely the story of Romeo and Juliet, told in this city. With his tragedy, Shakespeare put Verona on the world map and thus contributed to the fact that as many tourists as possible visit this city of love.
When you find yourself in beautiful Verona, what you must visit is Juliet’s house. Juliet is a character that the great writer Shakespeare brought to life through his most famous love drama. Those who are unlucky in love gather in this house to write love letters and write the names of their crushes. Through the narrow passageways, covered with love letters and names of lovers, you will reach the famous balcony, from which Juliet called her lover, Romeo. However, it can be noticed that the balcony is very small and you would wonder if someone could really stand on that balcony and declare their love to their partner. Well, it’s not, the truth is that that balcony is fake. The house of the Capulets was not actually in the place where it is now, but near the banks of the river Adige. The story that stands out from this balcony is that this balcony, which is in the Gothic style, was bought in agreement with the director of the museum, Antonio Avena, and placed in the courtyard of the house, which was bought by the city of Verona in order to turn it into a museum, which is famous today as Juliet’s house. The house is an ancient building that he turned into a museum where restored furniture from that period is exhibited, as well as the Capulet family’s premises.
When entering the courtyard of this house, you will come across a bronze statue of Shakespeare’s heroine, Juliet. It is believed that if you rub her breasts you will be lucky in love. This statue was created in 1969 by the master sculptor Nerre Constantine and was originally placed in the courtyard of the Verona Lions Club in 1973. Due to the numerous tourists, as well as the story about happiness in love, the statue had to be removed in order to preserve it. However, in 2014, one of Constantine’s students made a replica of Juliet’s statue, which is today located in the courtyard of the house from Shakespeare’s tragedy, while the original statue is kept safe in the house itself. There is a strange custom associated with this statue. Namely, it is believed that if you rub the “golden breasts” of Julia, i.e. the right breast, you will be lucky in love. Primarily this custom concerned men, however women also began to participate in this unusual act. The name “golden breast” is given because of the color of her breasts which are golden, but the statute is not made of gold. It is interesting that the statue is made of bronze, but from constant touching, the bronze took on a golden color, while the rest of the bronze oxidized. When you find yourself in front of this statue, in the Italian manner, security will politely ask you to fulfill your youthful “duty”, because Italians are hopeless romantics.
Another attraction is sending letters with love problems and requests. This story comes from the old days when a tourist left a letter with his love problem on Juliet’s grave, and the grave guard found it and answered with love advice. After that, this oddity spread quickly and a mass of people started sending letters to the address of Juliet’s house with their love woes and problems. Today, there are eight women who are employed to answer this type of letters, giving love advice on Juliet’s behalf.