“Two households, both alike in dignity / In fair Verona, where we lay our scene / From ancient grudge break to new mutiny / Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” So begins Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in Verona in Italy’s northern region of Veneto, a city so beautiful it inspired the greatest of bards.
Seven years ago in a lifetime far away, before I had ever been to Europe, when I still thought bruschetta was pronounced with a sh, the first native Italian came into my life. I decided to pick up the language, now having someone to practice with; I ditched French and embarked on a voyage into la bella lingua. She was from a small town near Milan, and, since then, I held a fascination for the bustling Italian metropolis. Seven years later, I finally saw the city for myself.