Welcome to the family
Being guests at the Balcone di Giulietta means becoming part of something unique and receiving an uncommon hospitality experience: joining – even if just for a short time – a big, warm-hearted blended family. That of Michael and Stefania, the former “fully Italian and absolutely German”, the latter 100% Italian: got married in New York, with the arrival of Max and Emma they built a family dividing their time between Verona and Berlin. As well as that of Persio: born and raised in Santo Domingo, he met Silvana on a Caribbean beach, after a few years they became wife and husband and moved to Verona, her hometown, where they still live.
Actually, our family is even bigger and comprises the best-known faces of Food Democracy, Michael's family business, a challenging project which includes some of Verona’s most famous bars and restaurants: Nicola, nicknamed “il Baffo” (the whisker), beating heart of the Pizzeria Impero for over thirty years (“In Germany I started to take interest in pizza, in Verona my passion just exploded”), Joele, manager of the Altro Impero (“I love dynamism in life and I thank heaven that allows me to enjoy it and work with passion”), Marcello, of the Pizzeria La Costa in Bra (“Without passion we wouldn't be here”), Anna, for over a decade life and soul of the restaurant Olivo 1939 (“that has always been looking ahead") and Maurizio, first at the Impero, then ice cream master at the Gelateria Impero and eventually, since 2019, leading the Casa Mazzanti Caffè (“To me, Piazza Erbe is regenerating and regenerating is the interaction with customers, from morning coffee to night cocktails”).
The Balcone di Giulietta was born out of the professional and personal partnership of Michael Cortelletti and Persio Munoz, cosmopolitan masters of the hospitality and restaurant industry profoundly connected to Verona. Both are “atypical” Verona locals: Michael comes from the other side of the Alps and divides his time between Verona and Berlin, though he grew up in the city’s historic alleys (his preferred playground was Piazza dei Signori and Cortile Mercato Vecchio); Persio left his hometown Santo Domingo for love, however, after moving to Verona in 1990, he ended up becoming the most Veronese of Veronese inhabitants.
After his studies in Italy and in the US, Michael follows in his father's footsteps: he enters the hospitality scene at the Plaza in New York, gets passionate about the art of pizza making (he and his father take part in the foundation of the first Italian School of Pizza Makers), works for illustrious international restaurant brands, then after returning to Verona he devotes himself to his family business and creates Food Democracy, a challenging project including some of Verona’s most famous bars and restaurants.
Persio graduated in Hotel Administration and simultaneously worked in a major Dominican hotel group. After arriving in Italy in 1990, he pursued a brilliant career in the hospitality industry as managing director for some of Verona’s most popular hotels (Hotel Valerio Catullo, Villa Quaranta Park Hotel, Hotel Expo).
In 1997 their paths crossed by chance at the Alliance Francaise in Verona: Persio helps Michael find his first job after university at the Best Western in Milan. After almost twenty-five years, when Michael decides to create the Balcone di Giulietta, he knows right away who to entrust it to: Persio cannot but be the most capable host.
The Balcone di Giulietta expresses and synthesizes the values most dear to Michael and Persio: family warmth, quality in hospitality, Italian excellence, pursuit of beauty and wellbeing. These values, set in the wonderful scenery of downtown Verona, create a unique, sophisticated and exciting experience.