The Castles of Romeo and Juliet in Montecchio Maggiore

italy-romeo and_julietIt is said that Romeo and Juliet spent their short and tragic lives just a few hundred meters of each other, in two castles located on a hill in the territory of Montecchio Maggiore (province of Vicenza). From the Romantic period, the popular tradition has identified in the ruins of the two castles the abode of beautiful Juliet (Castle Bellaguardia) and of her beloved Romeo (castle of the Villa). Today the two castles are an irresistible tourist attraction, both for the scenic location, the actual proximity (just 300 meters) and the undeniable historical precedents.

Luigi da Porto, a man of letters and arms, was the first author who defined the core of the story of Romeo and Juliet, that was later taken up by other authors such as Pierre Boisteau, ArthurBrooke, and last but not least William Shakespeare. Da Porto wrote from his villa in Montorso, not far from the two actual castles: an additional element that connects the facts narrated to the territory in the Vicenza’s area. After centuries of neglect, starting from the 30s of the 900, the castles were gradually restored and made available to the public both in general and for important events.

Opera Summer Festival & Medieval Montecchio (La Faida)

The Opera Summer Veneto Festival in July and August and the so called Faida (May 1st) are events that can’t be missed. The first one consists of a series of films, ballets, and theater performances that are spread throughout the foothills and based in Bassano del Grappa. This program specifically includes the two castles of Montecchio. The second is a true reenactment of the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues families. The medieval atmosphere is enchanting and attracts between 15 and 20 thousand people every year! One more reason to visit Italy and plan a trip to Veneto, to discover our past.

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