Padlocks on the Ponte Milivio: Symbol of True Love, or Public Nuisance?

Every week, teenage couples from all over Italy travel to Rome’s oldest bridge — Ponte Milvio — write their names on a padlock, clip it to a chain wrapped around the bridge’s lampposts, and throw the keys into the Tiber. This fad has become so popular, in fact, that it has been immortalized in I Want You, a romantic novel that’s just been made into a film.

Some politicians are demanding the locks be removed. Not only are the lampposts cluttered, but they fear the release of the film will mean even more padlocks will appear. One politician, Massimo Denaro, is suggesting that a new structure be built next to the bridge to hold all the padlocks. Hilariously, Denaro’s opponents are accusing him of being “anti-romance.”

It isn’t just the politicians, though, who are harshing on love. Last week, some of the chains and padlocks were found smashed on the ground. Only a few remained at the top of one of the lampposts, which led police to assert that the person(s) responsible must have either been “very short” or “afraid of climbing on the balustrade to get all the chains.”

[Via Archaeology in Europe; Photo: Mjilla]