Il Volto Barbaro

Innocent vanity? Was it a feminine desire for new clothes to look more beautiful in the eyes of her love? We like to think of Juliet, a young teenager – she was fourteen years old – in a family setting, still unaware of her tragic fate.
Our dream takes us somewhere else. Tragedy is imminent. We are approaching the place, near Volto Barbaro and behind the Mazzanti Houses, that was stained by the Scaliger blood of Mastino I, stabbed to death in 1277 by conspirators from rival families. History tells us that his brother Alberto administered exemplary punishment upon the people who ordered the assassination: after killing them, he destroyed their houses and ordered that the dust from the bricks were used for the new pavement that from Piazza Erbe reached Ponte Navi.
It’s in this sinister location that we like to set the violent brawl that started among young people belonging to the two rival factions. Provoked by a continuous exchange of insults, Tybalt, Juliet’s beloved cousin, kills Mercutio, Romeo’s friend.
Distraught, Romeo pursues Tybalt through the city streets and reaches him on the main street near Porta dei Borsari where he kills him, as narrated by Bandello. A headstone can be found today in this place in memory of the bloody event.

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