The movie Letters to Juliet is based on a real-life non-profit in Verona that really does respond to the letters addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet.
Verona, Italy – If you have ever watched the movie ‘Letters to Juliet’ you will know that thousands of tourists flock to the courtyard where the now-famous love scene between Romeo and Juliet fictionally took place. They leave letters for her, asking for advice or sharing their love tragedies.
The courtyard has the iconic balcony and is a beauty to behold. Over one hundred years ago, people started leaving letters there addressed to Juliet. The letters used to be left at Juliet’s tomb in Verona. The custodian of the site, Ettore Solimani, was the first person to start replying to the letters.
These letters were written by the heartbroken, the widowed and the loved. They shared stories of their hopes and heartaches.
It has picked up since the ’90s and sees thousands of letters arrive at the Juliet Club every year. They are in every language imaginable. The people that reply to these letters translate and archive them.
The volunteers can respond to around 10,000 letters a year. One volunteer shared his experience with the BBC last week, explaining that he had felt heartbreak in his life and knew who to offer support.
“From the woman who’s fallen in love with a close friend, to the man whose wife has passed away, to the boy who’s coming to terms with his sexuality, to the girl who doesn’t believe she’s beautiful enough to find love… Juliet has probably heard every possible scenario you can think of,”
“When people write to Juliet, [their] hearts are often frustrated, confused and in a mess,”
“But she takes all those feelings, calms them down, and reads them back to you as a beautiful song that’s easier to understand.”
Take a look at how the volunteers spread love across the globe each year.