Verona is known as the "city of love" and we all associate this fame with the Shakespearean tragedy.
Yet this is not the only darkly coloured love story that is said to be set in the city of La Scala family. There is at least one other one worth remembering: the so-called "Legend of the Well of Love". It is said that at the time of Emperor Maximilian (1509-1517), when Verona was under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire, a young soldier named Corrado di San Bonifazio fell in love with a young woman. The beautiful girl for whom the Veronese Corrado literally lost his head was called Isabella and belonged to the Donati family. Isabella, however, seemed to refuse Corrado's love, rejecting all his attempts at seduction, remaining impassive and indifferent to his loving impulses.
So it was that one day when the couple met near a courtyard located next to the small Church of San Marco, not far from Piazza Erbe, poor Corrado, exasperated by the coldness of his beloved, who seemed not to correspond, vented himself by accusing her of being frozen, "as cold as the water in the well in that courtyard". Isabella didn't bother at all with those harsh words and on the contrary, she didn't pay for the many frustrations inflicted on Corrado's heart, she wanted to throw him a last challenge: "Corrado, try jumping into the well and maybe you will find yourself colder than ice". As you know, the heart has its reasons that reason does not know. And so, the young lover did not hesitate at all in the face of the dreadful proposal: with great enthusiasm he threw himself into the well, going towards its icy and deep waters in the middle of winter. Isabella, however, who up to that moment had never let the shadow of a sentiment slip through her fingers, was dismayed to see that honest and probationary man who had just thrown himself into certain death for her love. She, too, had in fact always loved Corrado and therefore decided to follow him in the darkness of that well which, from that day on, was always remembered as the Well of Love.
For those who want to, it is still possible to visit the courtyard and the well that are told in this legend from the sad epilogue, simply by going to Vicolo San Marco in Foro.
Well of Love
Vicoletto Cieco, Scalette San Marco ( Directions )