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In fair Verona

Verona was important during the Roman Empire, and you still visit buildings from this time. The biggest is the amphitheatre, knwon as the Arena, which was built in the 1st century: 25,000 people could watch shows and gladiators here. It is the third biggest in Italy, after the Coleosseum in Rome and the amphitheatre at Capua.
Verona was still important after the end of the RomanEmpire, but great when the della Scala or Scaligeri family were in power, from 1259 to 1387. Can Grande I (1291-1329) was a patron of the arts: he invited poet Dante to Veronain 1314-15. Interesting and beautiful buildings from the time of the Scaligeri include the castle, knwon as Castelvecchio (1354-56), and the tombs of the Scaligeri. Their symbol was a ladder, which can still see in some places.

After the Scaligeri, Verona was under the control of Venice from 1405 to 1797. In first lines of his play, Shakespear syas that the story place ‘in fair Verona’, but after the character never talk about any well-known places in Verona. Some people, however, like to think that Romeo and Juliet lived in Verona, about the time of the Scaligeri. Juliet’s house is a 13th century house in the center of Verona. The dal Cappello family lived here: cappello in Italin means ‘hat’, and you can still see a stone hat on the entrance arch. Tje family name is similar to Cappelletti (how Italians say ‘Capulets’) and this is why people thought that Shakespear’s Juliet lived here.
The city of Verona bought the house in 1905, and there is now a small museum inside. The balcony was added when the house was restored in 1935-40, but many of the thousands of tourist who come here think Juliet stood on it! Very near ‘Juliet’s House’ there is a medieval house known as ‘Romeo’s House’. The Montecchi family (how Italians say ‘Montagues’) lived in this area, but we can’t say taht this was their house. About ten minutes walk away, near you can visit ‘Juliet’s Tomb’ in the old monastery of San Francesco. Here, in a room underground, there is a large tomb: there are lots of tourists, but no historical connections to the story! But in the old buildings of the monastery (not used any more as a monastery) the city of Verona allows both Italians and foreigners to get married.

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