Roman youth are festooning a lamppost on Ponte Milvio with padlocks, then throwing keys into the Tiber as a symbol of eternal love, thanks to a popular teen potboiler novel-cum-movie called Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo(Three Meters Above The Sky).
These symbolic ties that bind won’t last forever, though. First they were stolen (some cynical soul apparently sold them for scrap) and, more recently, on April 13 the post buckled under the weight of these hefty promises.
Enter the virtual version, where lovers put locks up on a photo of the lampost.
So far, there are about 15,000 of them on the site called Ponte Milvio Locks.
Though cold pixels can’t match Rome for picturesque shabbiness, the site does have a realistic soundtrack of Fiat tooting and people walking into the scene.
And unlike the actual locks, here, thanks to the magic of rollovers, lovers have room for a message.
They are mostly of the “awww!” variety: Luigi from Naples writes to Bianca, “I’m throwing away this key in the hopes that our love will last forever.”
Also unlike the brick-and-mortar bridge, the site may help bring together some long-distance lovers; Irene quotes Bryan Adam’s wedding staple “Heaven” in English to declare herself to a certain Peter.
It would seem that when they’re not harassing each other by videophone, Italian youth have a strong romantic streak.