Want to know where Romeo & Juliet is set? Shakespeare set Romeo & Juliet in two different Italian locations. Most of the action takes place in Verona and a small portion in Mantua.
Elizabethan and Jacobean audiences had special prejudices about Italy, so when a dramatist of the time set a play in Italy it was a kind of shorthand that said, ‘this play is about blood feuds, sexual passion and violence.’ The audiences attending Romeo & Juliet were not disappointed. It is set in Verona, Italy, which is unbearably hot in summer. It is at midday on a very hot day that the central action, the death of Mercutio, takes place. We have already seen a lot of sexual passion by now but the violence we now see is the dramatic device that puts the tragedy into top gear. The Italian setting perfectly suits the action.
The map below shows all the locations Shakespeare used for Romeo & Juliet , and below the map is a text list of the locations. When you click a pin on the map it opens to show all of the settings used within the location, using Shakespeare actual wording. You can zoom in on the map for a more detailed view of an area, click the icons on the map for more information, or use the list of all map pins below the Romeo & Juliet settings map: