Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Love locks

If you happen to be in Rome sometime soon, walk across the Ponte Milvio and stop at the middle lamp-post.

Lucchetti d'amore
You are looking at eternal love. Make obeisance.

Couples take a padlock, write or scratch their initials on it, attach the padlock to the chain that was once used to close off the bridge and then throw the key into the Tiber. (See the Chesterton quote below.) There are now so many that members of the ruling Ulivo party demand that Mayor Veltroni have them removed. These dessicated creatures have been dubbed "The Lovers' Enemy" by the right-wing councillor Marco Clarke. "The Left is against lovers", who will "be offended" by this gross breaking of their vows.

The custom was born as a school-leaving ritual, using locker padlocks to mutely announce 'Escape!' to the world. But teenage couples adopted it after the publication of a book by Federico Moccia (Ho voglia di te - "I want you") in which the central couple seal their love with a padlock attached to the chain on the third lamp-post of the Ponte Milvio.

To assess the style that inspired the custom, sample this from Moccia's blog: A reader asks, "Does the chain exist?" Moccia responds

Does the chain exist? Maybe.
It exists for those who believe. Who dream. Who love the sea. Who love the wind, and as the motorbike leans into it, grip to the person in front...For you who dream, the lovers' chain is for you. Maybe one day, you'll go to Rome, to the Ponte Milvio, to the third lamp-post, the one that looks out over the Tiber and watches the Corso Francia bridge. And you'll find it. You'll find the chain.
There's a lot more, but the spirit wilts and the flesh dries up. If you want more, go to his website with its sky-blue banner (his last book was called 3 Metres under the Sky) and the word 'Fede' (Faith) and a bandana-swathed ...strawberry.

I borrowed the photo from Chiara at 06blog.


Anonymous said...

Please look at our Padlocks of Love at http://www.unlucchettoxsempre.it or http://www.unlucchettoxsempre.com

NoolaBeulah said...

Grazie tante. PasserĂ² la parola.