Another important event created the final push to transform the site that hosted Juliet’s tomb: a stay in Verona by the troupe of Metro-Goldwin-Mayer, which was then seeking ideal settings for its new colossal film, Romeo and Juliet. The film (starring Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard), was not recorded in Verona, but the extraordinary success that it enjoyed allowed Avena to imagine an imminent, conspicuous flow of tourists to Verona, in search of the places described in the film. Here, however, the final scene of the double suicide was not set in the cloister of the convent, but in a crypt: it was probably on inspiration of the cinema choice that the museum director decided to give the sarcophagus a more suggestive backgound. Today, Juliet’s tomb is the sight where civil weddings are celebrated: many couples come especially from abroad, to crown their dream of love in the place where Romeo and Juliet saw their hopes shattered. And here, in the den illuminated by the high gothic windows, where the empty tomb awaits the romantic tribute of visitors, a singular tradition was born: the habit of addressing messages of love to “Juliet, Verona”. An entire squad of secretaries gathers these messages and answers them, because the story of Juliet is legend, but the throes of love that afflict men and women from every continent are a reality.
Source: Notiziario BPV numero 2 anno 1995