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.