Just 10 km from our Residence is the beautiful town of Montecchio Maggiore. This town of about 23,500 inhabitants is home to the castles of Bellaguardia and the Villa, better known as the castles of “Romeo and Juliet“.
In fact, the castles inspired the Vicenza literate Luigi da Porto, creator of the novel “Historia newly found of two noble lovers“. Later William Shakespeare transformed this story into the worldwide known tragedy with the name of Romeo and Juliet.
Montecchio Maggiore and its castles
The Bellaguardia castle, also known as “of Juliet”, as a possession, according to popular tradition, of the Capuleti family, rises to 273 meters above sea level. Remarkably rebuilt in modern times, it is now used as a restaurant. It consists of a six-sided fence, with an L-shaped plan: the entrance opens right into the most protected corner, which was thus possible to keep under fire both in front and on the side. The door, without a drawbridge, has some technical features that have made it possible to hypothesize a double-locking, shutter or swing structure.
The castle of the Villa, also known as Romeo’s, stands at 234 meters above sea level. and it is called “of Romeo” as, according to popular tradition, attributed to the Montecchi family. Built at the behest of Cangrande II della Scala in 1354, it was partially dismantled by the Venetians in the 16th century but still retains the perimeter of the walls and the tower of the keep. It is now used only in the summer season for events and shows
Medieval historical re-enactment
To relive the medieval atmosphere and the historic challenge between the houses of Montecchi and Capuleti, every 1st May the citizens organize a historical re-enactment. Characterized by duels, representations of ancient crafts, games for children and typical medieval dishes, the election of Romeo and Juliet has a significant role, chosen from among “bold young and kind girls” who are candidates to play the role of the two lovers. The chosen ones, voted by the public present, represent the city of Montecchio Maggiore for one year in the major events where an official delegation from the municipality is required or in which the Giulietta e Romeo Historical Cultural Group, organizer of the event, takes part.
For the medieval day, a real fifteenth-century village is rebuilt in the castles, animated by a large typical market. In addition, gunmen, falconers, alchemists, jugglers, knights, fire-breathing, and medieval-style shows enliven the streets.
Montecchio Beach party
The most modern and partygoers will certainly appreciate Montecchio Marittima “Beach Party”. A 5-day festival, during which Piazza Marconi is covered with sand and turns into an open-air disco.
The Priare (in Venetian language pria: stone) of Montecchio Maggiore are an articulated group of underground quarries, under the Bellaguardia castle. From these quarries, now no longer used, the Vicenza stone was extracted since Roman times. Inside there is a constant temperature and in the deepest part a water source flows. From December 14, 2008, guided tours are available every Sunday and public holidays afternoons. (for info Pro Loco 0444 696546 [email protected] http://www.prolocoaltemontecchio.it/)
Take advantage of your stay at our https://www.residencelamason.it/en/ to visit this charming town!