The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Hermitage Museum is located in St. Petersburg, on the Neva River. It is considered one of the most famous, oldest and most important art museums in the world. There are more than 60,000 exhibits in nearly 1,000 rooms with nearly three million items kept in the reserves. Apart from the pieces of antiquity, there is an excellent collection of paintings with the names of remarkable artists such as Rembrandt, Matisse, Gauguin, Leonardo Da Vinci and Picasso among others. Several buildings, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, built between XVIII and XIX centuries, form the museum (Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, Theater Hermitage, New Hermitage and the Winter Palace). Part of the State Palace (on the other side of the Palace Square) and the Menshikov Palace have been added to the Hermitage complex. The museum was born thanks to the empress Catherine the Great and her collections of paintings that she began to place in the Winter Palace. Originally the Hermitage was exclusive to family members and loved ones but in 1922 was opened to the public with free admission for the first five years. Since the opening of Russia, the Hermitage has become for foreign tourists the main attraction of the country. It still has annexes in Amsterdam and Las Vegas.

Tips

You can take photos for private, non-profit purposes.

It is possible to visit the Hermitage without a guide with the existing smartphone app (Russian or English only).

The cats of the Hermitage are well known and in the spring the Party of the guardian cats takes place. For the occasion, there is an exhibition of art representing cats, visits to cat areas, games for children and adults, etc. This event is a way of collecting money to feed cats and their maintenance because this expense is not part of the museum’s budget.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, the museum has more opening hours and on the first Thursday of each month, admission is free.

The fastest way to buy the tickets is online or on the automatic machines on site. Note that children and students (regardless of age or nationality), do not pay but students will have to queue for get their entry with a student card.

Juliet’s house, Verona, Veneto, Italy

Juliet’s house is a museum in a XII century building where they reconstructed the famous balcony, located near the historic center of Verona, Veneto, Italy. This house and balcony became famous thanks to the tragedy of William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, published in 1597. This house was built by the Dal Cappello family and we can see their carved coat of arms on the keystone of the arch internal court. This tragedy was located in Verona and from that moment, the city was considered one og the most romantic cities in the world and it was also called ‘the city of lovers of Verona’. From the nineteenth century, a legend takes place and the building was considered the house where lived Juliette Capulet, where his beloved Romeo Montescchi had declared his love at the foot of the balcony. From 1905, the building was converted into a museum and became a major tourist attraction. The historian Antonio Avena has the house restored completely between 1936 and 1940 and they add the balcony to the facade of the inner courtyard. Here you will find 16th and 17th century furniture, paintings and engravings showing the history of Romeo and Juliet, Renaissance ceramics and the costumes for Franco Zeffirelli’s film Romeo and Juliet (1968). The bronze statue of Juliet, made by Nereo Constantini, is at the end of the courtyard. There are walls covered with love vows and multicolored graffiti left by lovers at the entrance of the building.

Tips

If you want to take a picture with the statue of Juliet, go as early as possible because it is almost always full of public. If you want to leave your message or make a graffiti, you should do the same.

There is a tradition that says the statue of Juliet, gives good luck to lovers, you must touch the right breast.

Love Park, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Love Park is located in Miraflores in Lima Province, Peru. It was opened on February 14th, 1993 on St. Valentine’s day. There is a sculpture dedicated to love called The kiss by the Peruvian artist Victor Delfin. They are two young lovers who are kissing. It has 12 metres long and 3 metres high. The Park is located beside the bridge Villena Rey, a place where couples in love going to see the sunset, a magnificent view over the Pacific Ocean. There are also traditions such as for example, couples of just married who go after the ceremony to concretize their act with a kiss. Of course, on February 14th (St. Valentin’s day), couples fill the Park and there’s a competition among them called ‘The longest kiss’. The Park is bounded by a wavy wall where you can see Peruvian poets’ romantic phrases such as: ‘ I undress you as I peel a fruit ‘ by Jorge Díaz Herrera’ or ‘My dream is a lost island’ by Alberto Vega or ‘Poetry can change poison into sweet’ by Abelardo Oquendo among others.

Tips

If you like to plan in parachute, next to Love Park, you will find Raimondi Park , where you can launch from.
The area where the Park is located is a succession of docks excellent to jog or just cycle. There is also a lighthouse at the end of the road.
If you like shopping, you will find the Larcomar Mall with many restaurants and shops of famous brands not far from the park.
Of course, if you like the beach, it is a good place to enjoy it. The sea complete the beautiful landscape.