Lock Up Your Love and Throw Away the Key

10 Mar

Despite the fact that Ale is away for the weekend having some kind of Abruzzo-style bachelor party (Naked women? Try again. More like cooking a sheep for 8 hours while consuming copious amounts of wine. Don’t ask… I surely didn’t.) … I had an incredibly romantic afternoon regardless.

You see, the other day I read this article about Ponte Milvio. The bridge has recently been making news for this new tradition, which apparently only started on Ponte Milvio after it appeared in a recent book called “Ho Voglia di Te,” sequel to the teen cult hit “Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo,” (which, by the way, if you’re studying Italian around the intermediate level, could be a good book to start with… I read it in two days on the beach and it’s a fun fluff novel). The article inspired me to take a look for myself. In my five years here in Rome, I’d never actually been on the bridge, since it’s kind of out of the way for where I live, but this definitely deserved a look.

Part of the reason I’ve never been there is probably because I’m no longer 16 years old. I mean, you need to picture a place where teenagers go to have some stolen kisses. But still, it has a special charm all its own and at the risk of sounding sappy, I was taken in by it.

So, if you didn’t read the article—the gist is that you go here with an ordinary lock, lock it to one of the lampposts (or other locks on the lampposts), maybe write your name and your sweetheart’s name, and then throw the key in the Tiber. Ok, ok, I know… it might sound kind of cheesy. I’m not usually the type. But like I said, there’s something kind of magical about the place.

Recently the book was turned into a movie that’s of course become a big hit with the teeny-bopper set.

Well, what can I say? Rome might not be Paris, but there’s certainly always some romance in the air around here…

You can’t really tell from the “entrance” to the bridge that’s there’s anything out of the ordinary here. But once you get about half-way across…

This is the main lamppost and had the most locks on it. I don’t even really want to know how they got those ones on the top. I mean, that could be a pretty tragic end to a teenage love story, don’t you think? Sorry, but let’s inject a bit of reality here, people. Did they bring a ladder, or what?

Besides the locks, the bridge itself is positively COVERED in love graffiti. I know that some of you aren’t too wild about graffiti here in Rome. And generally, I’m not either. But I have to admit that I kind of like the fact that they are tolerant here.

If you kiss with your eyes open, this is what you’ll see…

Kind of off the beaten path, and thankfully not really a tourist attraction (yet). But a visit here is bound to make your heart smile…

Ponte Milvio
Lungotevere Maresciallo Diaz (near the Foro Italico)

20 Responses to “Lock Up Your Love and Throw Away the Key”

  1. Valerie March 10, 2007 at 5:48 pm #

    Ma dai! Che carino. So did you put a lock on the bridge?

  2. Gracie March 10, 2007 at 9:12 pm #

    With the impending wedding, you didn’t put one yourself??? Get one and do it tomorrow, they say it’s a porte-bonheur, you absolutely must do it!

  3. marina March 10, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    What an awesome post 🙂 I didnt know that such a place existed in rome. I’m not 16 myself, but maybe I’ll visit this place too the next time I go :)I cant imagine how someone could put a lock all the way up to the post.Like Valerie and Gracie has asked above me, why didnt you put a lock in there too?(p.s Stumbled into your blog and have been so in love with it 🙂

  4. Carole (K.C.) March 10, 2007 at 10:25 pm #

    Awesome post! You’re right about the graffiti, I have to agree there are exceptions when love is involved. It sounds like you’re having a ball enjoying the last few days of single life.BTW, belated auguri della festa della donna a te e a tutti le femmine bloggers.Can’t wait to tune in to see what’s next on your blog and around Rome.A presto,

  5. JennDZ March 10, 2007 at 11:15 pm #

    Wow, that is actually a really nice sentiment and something that people do when they are goofy and in love. More power to it!

  6. Gil March 11, 2007 at 8:45 am #

    The locks seem to do lees damage to the city than the paint. It really hurts to see that darn paint on structures hundreds of years old.

  7. Shelley - At Home in Rome March 11, 2007 at 12:20 pm #

    I know, I guess it’s kind of crazy that I didn’t put one on myself, but there’s a part of me that enjoyed just looking at it all and remembering what it was like being in a new relationship and that anticipation of not knowing what the future holds… it seemed more to me a tradition for those kinds of couples rather than Ale and I, who by now after 5 years feel like an old married couple already! 😉 Maybe I could put a lock on for my newest love, the radio station…Emanuele, che ne pensi? Un futuro insieme in radio? 😉 Vai a metterci un lucchetto per noi, va!

  8. avery March 11, 2007 at 1:29 pm #

    We were just talking about Ponte Milvio the other day. How funny. I never knew it existed until I asked about the movie advertisements posted all over Rome. my hubby told me the story behind putting a lock with a love note on it and throwing away the key into the Tevere. The pictures are great! Love all those locks piled up.

  9. Anonymous March 11, 2007 at 6:50 pm #

    Hello, from one of the sheep cooker :-)Ciao Matteo

  10. Shelley - At Home in Rome March 11, 2007 at 8:29 pm #

    Matteuccccio!!!!! Che bello!!! You crazy sheep cooker, you! Mi manchi tanto, non vedo l’ora di rivederti presto… baci!!That’s my pal Matteo, Ale’s cousin. He’s the one who introduced us but I hardly see him because he doesn’t live in Rome.Glad that everyone else liked this article. I probably won’t be going back to Ponte Milvio b/c like I said, it’s off the beaten path for me and so I wouldn’t normally pass by, but… it was a fun little side trip.

  11. ekimrue March 12, 2007 at 1:24 am #

    When I am in Rome I shall bring a lock for my true love…and she will be with me.

  12. sognatrice March 12, 2007 at 12:37 pm #

    I was going to post on this (without the great in-person pics though) later this week b/c I recently found this article. In any event, this past weekend, I discovered a wall here in Calabria that has a bunch of love messages scribbled on it; I did get pics of those and will write about them (and reference this post)…all in due time 🙂

  13. nyc/caribbean ragazza March 12, 2007 at 2:56 pm #

    Shelley I really like that area. I met a friend for lunch in the little piazza by the bridge last year. There is a fantastic bakery/gelato place called Il Mondo around the corner.Is it that far from Trastevere? I hear the rents are lower but I’m not sure I’d want to be so far away from the center.

  14. Shelley - At Home in Rome March 12, 2007 at 3:02 pm #

    Sognatrice: What a coincidence! I’ll be keeping an eye out for your post…NYC: Ciao bella!! No, it’s really not that far from Trastevere. My sense of distance is all messed up since I’ve been living here. I drove there and it took me about 20, 25 mins? Not that bad. But I guess since I have no real reason to be in that area normally… none of my friends live over that way… it’s kind of an unknown zone for me so seems further than it actually is.

  15. African Kelli March 12, 2007 at 9:22 pm #

    I wonder if you just write your name on one of those locks if you’ll be given love? Perhaps I should invest.

  16. Finny March 12, 2007 at 9:58 pm #

    Ok, the big fat sap in me (not to mention my inner 13 year old) really wants to do this next time I’m in Rome. Come on – a Finny/Bubba lock – that’s cute…not dorky…cute.Great piece 🙂

  17. Jessica March 12, 2007 at 10:53 pm #

    I’d seen an article about this bridge and included it in a news roundup I did recently (near the bottom of this post) – apparently not everyone is enamored with the new tradition.

  18. Stelle In Italia March 14, 2007 at 4:42 pm #

    i’d heard about this, but i didn’t realize it was a recent tradition. very cute! i think this would definitely be a fun place to check out while in rome…

  19. lovelyn February 14, 2008 at 1:42 am #

    Ciao! Been googling for this lock up thing and it led me here. Hope you don’t mind me linking this post on my blog.




  1. Marina’s Bloggariffic » Blog Archive » An Italian vacation part 3 - Ponte Milvio - July 1, 2007

    […] first knew about this place when I stumbled upon Shelley’s blog and I became really curious about the place. Cart and I were along the way and decided to take a […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: