I think I may have mentioned we were in Italy last November (I promise to shut up about it after this post, maybe). But one day, walking across the Accademia Bridge in Venice, my sons and I noticed rows of padlocks lining the hand rail up and down the bridge. We were intrigued (‘cause what is cooler than a bunch of unexplained hardware on a historic landmark?) On closer inspection, we discovered the locks were inscribed with names and sentiments of love – which I found adorable, and my boys found just plain embarrassing for the poor schmucks involved. As we began to notice these locks secured on other historic bridges around Venice, including the famous Rialto Bridge, our curiosity grew.
And thus, through deep investigation (aka google search) we were able to solve the mystery of what we found out was called The Love Locks.
So, this Valentine’s day, if you want to say I Love You Italian-style, here is how it is done.
1. Choose a romantic and/or historic bridge as depicted in the 2006 novel responsible for the current craze, “I Want You” by Italian author Federico Moccia. The preferred romantic locations seem to be in Italy – Rome, Venice, and Florence – although bridges in other countries such as Ireland, Germany, France, Canada and Russia seem to qualify as well due to the locks massively appearing. Heck, a bridge anywhere will probably do the trick.
2. Get a padlock. Go fancy by engraving it with the name/initials of you and your lover and maybe some gooey sentiments. Or do a poor man’s version by hand writing names and message of everlasting amour on your padlock (sharpie , nail polish, whatever is handy). Then lock the padlock onto a historic/romantic bridge and throw the padlock key into the canal or body of water while thus swearing eternal love and devotion to one another.
But pay heed to #3…
3. Seriously, here is the most important part, so don’t zone out yet.
Once you have put your lock into place and thrown the key into the water, run like Willie Nelson from the IRS! You see, the truth is, putting the locks on the historic bridges is, in many places illegal due to the fact that they are considered by some to be an eyesore and also damage the old stone on the famous bridges as the locks begin to rust. Getting caught locking your love to a bridge could be accompanied by a heavy fine, and in some cases, jail time (um, you have seen Midnight Express, right?). All in the name of love.
However, don’t despair because…
While it is true that your padlock of eternal love could end up victim to massive bolt cutters in the night by authorities cleaning up and protecting the historic bridge (making the whole eternal thing a little less everlasting), there is still hope. In true love Italian-style, authorities have in some places near or on the preferred historic bridges begun to install fences or special bars on which to hang the locks of love legally, without damaging the bridges.
You know what they say (or, well, Lenny Kravitz says it – which is good enough for me),
“We Got to Let Love Rule!”
Happy Valentines Day from Sweet Spot!
Other Valentines Day Posts: True Love By Way of a Kitty Dance and a Bucking Horse.
For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!