Lock up my heart

There’s a tradition on the Ponte Vecchio that lovers (probably young, romantic types) attach a padlock to part of the bridge and then throw the key into the River Arno. This will, so the legend goes, ensure their love lasts forever (or at least until the divorce).

It’s not clear how and when the tradition started, but some reports suggest it is reasonably recent (i.e the 1990s) and was encouraged by a locksmith who had a shop at the foot of the bridge.

At one point in 2006, there was over 5,000 padlocks attached to the railings and fittings of the bridge. The local authorities were not happy. Not only was it (in their view) unsightly…the metal was also being damaged by the weight and friction of the padlocks.  So they removed all the locks, and instituted a 50 Euro fine for anyone caught attaching one.

A few rogue lovesick-lockers obviously still take the risk…

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