Want to know the setting of Romeo and Juliet? See each setting Shakespeare used in the play on the map below.
Shakespeare set Romeo and 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 and 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 settings of Romeo and Juliet that Shakespeare used. You can zoom in on the map for a more detailed view of an area, and click the icons on the map for more information. Text in quotation marks are the specific locations Shakespeare references in his Romeo and Juliet text.