In 14th century Verona the two families of Montagues and Capulets were fighting one against the other... well, the rest of the story is well known.
The story was already popular in 14th century and there are at least three versions written by Italian authors
What not everybody knows is that like in many legends, also in Juliet and Romeo's (ladies first in Italy) story there is something true. The two families, Montecchi and Capuleti in Italian, the struggle for power that took place in Italy and in Verona at that time, the Scala family lords, are all true. In Verona there are still the houses of the two families, nowadays of course called Romeo's house and Juliet's house, with its famous balcony where is now also possible to get married.
The story was already popular in 14th century and there are at least three versions, written by Italian authors. Shakespeare version was part of a trend among writers and playwrights of the time to publish works based on Italian novellas. At the time of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Italian tales were very popular among theatre patrons. Critics of the day even complained of how often Italian tales were borrowed to please crowds. Shakespeare took advantage of their popularity, as seen in his writing of both All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure (from Italian tales) and Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare's version is an adaptation of the Italian Giulietta e Romeo, by Matteo Bandello. Bandello's story was translated into French and was adapted by Italian theatrical troupes, some of whom performed in London at the time Shakespeare was writing his plays. Although nothing is known of the repertory of these troupes, it is possible that they performed some version of the story. Bandello's version too was an adaptation of Luigi da Porto's Giulietta e Romeo.
The names of the families were actual political factions of the thirteenth century
The latter gave the story much of its modern form, including the names of the lovers, the rival families of Montecchi and Capuleti, and the location in Verona. Da Porto is probably also the source of the tradition that Romeo and Juliet is based on a true story. The names of the families (in Italian, the Montecchi and Cappelletti) were actual political factions of the thirteenth century, mentioned by Dante in a short verse of his Divine Comedy.
In the general tour of Verona it's included a visit to Romeo's and Juliet's house, but special Shakespearean tours can be booked to include the tomb of Juliet and other Shakespearian places in town.
From 2009 it is possible to organize weddings at Juliet's house.
If you want you can also write to Juliet:
CLUB DI GIULIETTA
via Galilei 3
It's less romantic but also e-mails are ok：
For detail or further information on Juliet's Verona, and on guided sightseeing tours: