A New York woman whose "letter to Juliet" earned her a trip to Verona, Italy, said she didn't even known she was entering a contest.

Beth Gillespie, 28, said she was following a long tradition of sending letters seeking romantic advice to "Juliet Capulet," the heroine of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," to Verona and was unaware a team of volunteers were looking through the letters for "the most beautiful," the New York Post reported Monday.

Gillespie said she was surprised to receive a reply to her letter and even more surprised to learn she and two other winners had been awarded a weekend trip to Verona for the city's Valentine's Day celebrations.

"It was one of those things that was so personal and private," she said. "Just my luck to win an award and have it published. I am also honored at the same time."

Gillespie and the other winners were each awarded a small statue of Juliet at the city's celebration.