Verona is the Italian city which the world’s greatest English writer William Shakespeare had associated one of his masterpieces “The Romeo and Juliet” with.
This town is located at a distance of 155 km from Milan in the region of Veneto which is the capital of Venice and for four days every year in the month of February i.e. from 11th February to 14th February including the Valentine’s Day, this town gets drowned in the festivities of what is worldwide known as the “Verona in Love” Festival.
This festival is dedicated to all the love birds that come to Verona during the Valentine’s week as well as lovebirds all over the world. Every year, thousands of tourists come to this city with the sole purpose of standing under the very balcony where Juliette stood to look down upon her love Romeo, even though all of it was mere fiction.
This festival takes place in the picturesque streets of this enchanting city where the tourists get to enjoy a rich calendar of love themed competitions and events. Verona has thus become a beautiful and wonderful place to spend Saint Augustine’s Valentine’s Day with people all over the world bonding over the mutual emotion-love.
How Do People Celebrate It?
Thousands of red hearts, lights and other red tinted decorations cover every nook and corner of the city during this time. Streets are filled with people as exhibitions, activities, food, concerts and aphrodisiacs take place. Famous restaurants have special menus dedicated to the four nights of this festival.
On the final day of the festival i.e. on Valentine’s Day, a Love Marathon also known as Romeo and Juliet Half Marathon is hosted whose end point is the splendid Roman Arena. During the nights, Love Walks are arranged that take the lovers through the historic places of romance in the city and ends with a synchronized act of mass kissing under the moonlight.
The most happening square of Verona during this time, Piazza dei Signori is alive with free daily live music concerts in the ‘Live in Love’ area and is decorated with a huge red carpeted heart. A valentine market called ‘Cuore da Scoprire’ is set up with heart shaped stalls selling mainly local products like chocolates, trinkets, wine, food, souvenirs, ceramics, paintings, lover’s mementos and cheese. There are various love rituals and customs which are carried out by the couples visiting the city. One such ritual is to visit Juliet’s house and attach a love note under her balcony.
People who are planning on getting married write their vows on a piece of paper and leave it there as their symbol of love. This city also encourages the tradition of leaving letters for Juliet and people can actually do that and leave it in her house and they actually get a reply back from the officials. They have been answering such love letters since the last 70 years. This town gets both love and tourism during this festival and literally puts its heart into it.
The tallest building of the town, the Lamberti Tower is lit red and one of the best things experienced by couples during this time is to climb up to the top of this tower and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Piazza dei Signora and the whole of Verona from above. The visitors of the city get special discounted entries to places like Juliet’s house, Juliet’s tomb and the Lamberti Tower during the V-day week. The closing ceremony of this festival involves lovers putting a lock on the courtyard door at Casa di Giulietta and throwing away the key in a nearby river.