Modern-Day Romeo and Juliet Balcony Love Story

This lockdown love story has a happy ending!


Italians on balconies during the lockdown (MikeDotta /

This modern-day Romeo and Juliet story is set in Verona, Italy – just like Shakespeare’s original – but has a much happier ending. The fact that it happened during the coronavirus lockdown can be an inspiration that love can win even during trying times.

The couple, Michele D’Alpaos, 38, and Paola Agnelli, 40, met on their balconies in mid-March according to the  Washington Post. Agnelli was outside with her sister who was performing a rendition of “We Are the Champions” on her violin as part of a nightly musical performance to cheer up their locked down neighbors.

Even though the couple have lived opposite each other for most of their lives, they had never met. When D’Alpaos spotted her that night, he said it was love at first sight. “I was immediately struck by the beauty of this girl, by her smile,” D’Alpaos told The Washington Post “I had to know her.”

A few moments into the song, their eyes met. “it was a magical moment,” Agnelli said.

In a clear case of six degrees of separation, D’Alpaos’s sister knew Agnelli from her gym. She gave Agnelli’s contact information to her brother. “I started looking on all possible social networks,” D’Alpaos said. “I saw that she had an Instagram profile, but I didn’t. In five minutes, I created an account.”

He followed her on Instagram and they began writing to each other late at night and this connection continued for the next 10 weeks while Italy was locked down. Their socially distanced relationship continued via text message, telephone calls, flower deliveries and what the NY Post calls “Full Romeo” when D’Alpaos hung a sheet from his balcony that had just one word – Payola – on it.

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In May, the star-crossed lovers finally met in person at a nearby park and shared their first kiss. Now they are engaged to be married. They still continue with nightly phone calls across from each other on their respective balconies. In fact, they hope to be able to wed on the terrace of D’Alpaos building.

That true love could bloom during a pandemic is a silver lining that neither of the lovers expected they told  the Washington Post. “Such a thing has never happened to either of us. The sensations we are experiencing in this period is something we never felt before,” D’Alpaos said. “We are more in love than ever.” While this tale of balcony flirtation starts out similar to The Bards tale, it has a happy ending.

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