But thanks to the hype and selling of Verona, the town has become a wonderful place to spend Saint Valentine's Day for lovers from all over the world. The town really puts their heart into it... literally.
Another odd custom is to caress the breast of the Juliette bronze statue and take a picture doing it. There have been so many thousands of people doing this that the patina of the bronze now appears brightly polished. I've chosen not to include a photo with girls, guys, couples or greying old men groping poor Giulietta... after all, she was just 13 when she died! (Oh... that's right... she never really lived.)
The final ritual at the Casa di Giulietta is for you and your lover to put a lock on the courtyard gate and throw away the key into the nearby river. This lock tradition--getting its inspiration from Italian author, Federico Moccia's 2006 novel, Ho Voglia di Te (I Want You)--is getting a bit carried away in places all over Italy, especially Rome and on the Lovers' Walk in Cinque Terre--and catching on in other countries, too. In Rome, bridges and other structures often are in danger of collapse because of the millions of locks placed on them by Moccia inspired lovers. Teams with bolt-cutters keep removing locks, but lovers keep putting back more. It's the same here at Casa di Giulietta... chewing gum littered and graffitied walls and locks weighing down the gates. When did love become following the path of other people instead of your own heart?
Amare per Sempre!
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