Veneto is a region that has always inspired artists, so we take our starting point from the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare‘s death to offer a tour of the venues connected to the works of the Bard of Avon.
Shakespeare set 15 out 38 of his plays in Italy and some scholars debate whether he actually visited the towns where he staged his masterpieces.
However, Veneto celebrates this tie with a series of theater performances until 21st December 2016, representing the works in special venues and in original language.
Would you like to know how to reach these places? Follow our Shakespearean itinerary.
Juliet’s tomb in Verona
Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet; however, isn’t as well known that the legend about the tomb of Juliet.
To know more you should go in Verona, moving from Brà square to Barbieri neoclassical building along the ancient city walls, then you reach via Pallone at the crossroad with via del Pontiere.
From here you will arrive to the gardens of the former Convent of San Francesco al Corso, surrounding the Tomb of Juliet and the Fresco Museum dedicated to Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle.
According to tradition, the tomb uncovered in red Verona marble would house the mortal remains of Juliet, but in the sixteenth century it was transformed into a receptacle for the well water, trying to forget the story of the two young lovers of Verona.
Despite this, the place has continued to be a destination for travelers and, in 1937, the tomb was moved to the basement next to the cloister and now is open every day from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.
Take advantage of this visit to discover also the Museum of Frescoes, because here there are works realized between X and XVI centuries, sculptures dating back to XIX century created by Innocenzo Fraccaroli and Torquato della Torre, and many paintings by artists who lived between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century.
At the cloister there is the performance of “Romeo and Juliet”, while from October to December, the theatrical setting will be Santa Maria in Chiavica deconsecrated Church.
Palazzo Marin, Venice
In the place that attracts many tourists by virtue of its romantic lagoon and the peculiarity of its streets, squares and buildings, namely Venice, stands the Ca ‘Marin, noble house that preserves the eighteenth century frescoes as Elena’s escape from Troy, Theseus and Arianna, while the ceiling is decorated with allegorical medallions depicting Apollo and the Muses. All interior decoration testify to a refined taste and welcome visitors in an atmosphere that seems to belong to another era.
Today Palazzo Marin can host special events, anniversaries, unforgettable concerts and exclusive parties. In addition to the theatrical play The Merchant of Venice, proposed on the occasion of Shakespeare’s celebrations, cultural events are regularly scheduled throughout the year. Please check www.palazzomarin.it for further details.
Villa Duodo, Monselice
In Monselice, in the province of Padua, is worth a trip to Villa Duodo, built by a noble Venetian family on the foundations of an older castle called St. George.
Although the villa is usually only open to the outside, here you can see the show The Taming of the Shrew. Furthermore, the Villa is a part of the Monselice Castle, which consists of several Medieval buildings open to the public.
Just at the castle there is a reserved space that you should see, the Venetian courtyard, perfect for hosting concerts and performances, is also known for the ancient walls decorated with an ensemble of putti with musical instruments of the Baroque period, while on the south side there is the chapel designed by Andrea Tirali in the eighteenth century.
On the slopes of Colle della Rocca we suggest to stop at the Sanctuary of the Seven Churches, consisting of six chapels lining the hill (each of which bears the name of a Roman basilica) and a seventh church, dedicated to St. George.
For more information about the castle is available on the official website: www.castellodimonselice.it/it-IT/villa-duodo.
The Scaliger castle in Torri del Benaco
For the last stage of our route we suggest to come back in Verona province, in Torri del Benaco, where the Scala family castle hosts the play The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a play that alternates light and dramatic moments, taking advantage of the spaces of the castle, from lemon house to the Sala della Barchessa, by walkways to the garden.
During the visit to the Castle of Torri del Benaco you should enter at the Ethnographic Museum on Lake Garda culture, illustrating the historical aspects of Torri and Alto Garda areas through thematic sections dedicated to fishing and to the petroglyphs.
Here we are close to another best-known Scaliger castle, in Malcesine, on the shores of Lake Garda: the fortress is very sought-after for weddings and owes its fame to the pictures and stories of Goethe, who described it in his Italian Journey, a merit which is recognized with a museum dedicated to him in the castle.
The lakeside promenade of Malcesine and the panorama watched from Torri del Benaco are the natural attractions that will make you fall in love with Veneto and its history, able to arouse emotions centuries later.
Read more about tourist routes in the region in our post What to do in Venice in 1 day: Architecture Tour .