If you asked anyone what is the most romantic place on earth, they would probably say Italy. Since Italy is one of the most romantic countries, it’s obvious that some of history’s most famous couples have come from there. Italy boasts some of the most stunning city’s which are favourites with a lot of lovers. Over the years this fascinating and incredible country has seen sparks fly, lovers unite and history made with various famous couples. Their home/backdrop will not only make you fall in love with the city’s, country but perhaps fall in love with that special person all over again.
I have looked at love across the ages and some of Italy’s most famous couples. Some of history’s lovers may come from fictional stories but somewhere along the line in history, were influenced by true love stories and have touched us in some way helping us understand the real and true meaning of love. These stories that, like the people they speak of, are full of passion and life and have become legends and symbols for the word. The backdrops of these love stories are even more real than the people themselves.
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet are probably the most famous lovers of all time! The love tragedy by William Shakespeare is the tale of two teenagers from two feuding families who fall in love. The forbidden love leads the husband and wife to take their own lives in the name of love. The famous couple lived in Italy’s beautiful city of Verona. Verona is just one of the countries many charming, characteristic and romantic cities.
The plot of Romeo and Juliet is based on an Italian tale that is translated into a verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet which was by Arthur Brooke in 1562. The story was then retold by William Painter in 1585. The final love story of Romeo and Juliet that we know today is from the screenplay by William Shakespeare.
Image from flickr by Michelangelo Viana
Verona over the Valentine’s period, celebrating the romantic holiday and Romeo and Juliet put on various events which they call Verona in Love. The week leading up to February 14th, Verona decorates its streets with red hearts; red heart shaped balloons are handed out to people walking through the town and street lamps are decorated. Throughout the city too, performances, events and concerts will take place in all of the Shakespearean places and the streets and city squares. Throughout the year people across the world, either whilst visiting Verona or even from afar, will write love letters to Juliet. On Valentine’s Day at Juliet’s house, a prize is given for the best love letter to Juliet.
Petrarch and Laura
Francesco was an innovative scholar, poet and a huge name that influenced literature for centuries. He is also one of the most famous men in Italian literature and his work that people mostly enjoyed were his sonnets. People admired his thoughts on culture and his work which described Laura, the love of his life.
Born in 1304, Petrarch spent most of his earlier years studying in Montpellier and Bologna. Drawn to Italian literature, he dedicated his time and life to learning more which included travelling through a lot of Europe.
Petrarch, Italian scholar, poet and Renaissance humanist, met the love of his life and the inspiration for his work on April 6 1327 in the church of Sainte-Claire d’ Avignon. Her beauty inspired an endless number of poems which portray her as a lovely, fair-haired, modest and dignified 19 year old girl. Petrarch never actually reveals the real identity of Laura but rumours have it that perhaps she was Laura de Noves who was married to County Hugues de Sade.
Dante and Beatrice
The love story between Dante and Beatrice blossomed in the gorgeous city of Florence. Dante first set eyes on Beatrice as a child, nine years old. Even as a young child, he was amazed by her beauty and fell in love with eight year old Beatrice. After their first encounter which was brief, believed to have not even spoken a word to each other, Dante spent years in Florence doing different things hoping that one day he would bump into beautiful Beatrice.
Nine years later the two lovers finally bumped in to each other. Beatrice’s beauty had the same effect, if not more, than when they set eyes on each other nine years before. That night, Dante dreamt of Beatrice and her beauty and this scene was the subject of the first famous sonnet La Vita Nuova. The couple never met again but there was something for Dante that meant he continued to hold an enduring love for Beatrice, even after she died at the young age of twenty four.
“La gloriosa donna della mia mente” meaning “The glorious lady of my mind” is what Dante said about Beatrice. Dante’s love for Beatrice was more spiritual and emotional than a physical. Having only met a couple of times, Beatrice disappearing and reappearing in Dante’s life, it’s amazing how much Beatrice’s beauty had such a hold that this love of his life become more real to him than her itself; a real representation of real love.
The historical city of Florence would now make a beautiful romantic weekend away. Florence is a mixture of period palaces, huge squares and quaint passageways. Florence is a city that is appreciated more and more as you continue your explorations. Wander the streets along the river and explore the famous Ponte Vecchio. The historical centre is one of the most romantic spots in Florence. Visitors can explore the Church of Santav Margherita de ‘Cerchi, said to be the location of the lover’s first encounter and inside the church you can see the tombstone which marks where Beatrice is buried. You can also visit and view Dante and Beatrice’s homes; Beatrice’s which is the Palazzo (now mainly used to home banks) and Dante’s house, now a museum.
Author Bio: Christina is an Italy enthusiast and after a visit to beautiful Florence is looking forward to visiting more of stunning Tuscany. Freelance writer and avid travel blogger, she loves finding great holiday destinations and researching online for the best travel deals.