It was a cloudy day, cold enough for a cup of black, soul warming tea, but too warm for sweaters and socks. I was seventeen years old, nursing my cup between my equally warm hands and cuddled up in a thin blanket, staring ardently at the screen. The protagonist was forlorn, with no love left to her name, or so she thought. The short run from the wedding party, albeit a long one for the heart, left her with tears down her cheeks and tears brimming in my eyes. For a young girl that swore by the power of love and all things pure and swashbuckling-like, the scene left me praying for a better ending. And et voilà! There it was! She was happily reunited with the man of her dreams and got her own piece of happily ever after.
Unlike Amanda Seyfried, or even Juliet, not all of us can expect a sudden vacation to fair Verona where we’ll run into a dashing British blond. We can’t have wine and ice cream with the said blond or even apologize for being too quick to judge and soon earn our love story.
Life, my friend, is a bittersweet tale. One that is spun with silk during the cherishable moments and jute during the rough ones. Silk is fragile and must be protected but jute is sturdy and practical. And thus, we live it. We live it all hoping to find someone to lie next to and someone to clasp our hands in their own. And the only one to share our piece of forever with.
Juliet’s story wasn’t a happy tale. It was a long fight from the very start, to find a way to let love blossom, only to see it wither in tragedy.
However, that didn’t stop me from wanting to write a letter to Juliet. If you’re wondering what I’m droning on about, it is mailing a letter to Casa di Giulietta in Verona, Italy. Casa di Giulietta is Juliet’s home. And how are these letters read and answered in the name of the most famous literary heroine, you ask? Well…the story dates back to the 1930’s, when the guardian of Juliet’s tomb, Ettore Solimani began gathering the first letters left at her grave. Moved by the gesture, he began to reply to the letters, thus becoming Juliet’s first secretary. Letters are sent from all over the world, and all of them are read and answered in Juliet’s name by the secretaries and volunteers at Casa di Giulietta. People are welcome to write letters by hand and mail it from anywhere in the world or drop it off at the mailbox stationed at the entrance. Letters by e-mail are also welcome, but the good old pen and paper format lets the readers cherish the handwritten word. Thousands of letters with stories, sonnets and an underlying search and unmistakable yearning of love are all answered and stored in the Juliet Club Archives. Visitors are most welcome to read a few and even answer a letter. The Juliet Club website offers many ways for you to send the letters and gives you an insight into the tradition that keeps it going in Shakespeare’s city of love. So go ahead, write your letters in the memory of the one you yearn for, pen your story and let the immortal heroine answer your letters―with love.
Letters to Juliet
Corso Santa Anastasia 29, 37121
Verona – Italy
At Juliet’s Mailbox:
Juliet’s House or at Juliet Club (Corso Anastasia 29, Verona)
Image Source: istock