Along the railings of the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in the Italian City of Florence and especially in the middle around the statue of the Florentine sculptor, Cellini there are many padlocks secured to the railings .
This, I found out after visiting, is a lover’s tradition where by locking the padlock and throwing the key into the river they become eternally bonded.
This is an action where I would recommend extreme caution because it sounds dangerously impulsive to me; I think I would further recommend taking the precaution of keeping a spare somewhere in case I needed it later.
This might sound all rather lovely but apparently all of these love tokens do lots of damage to the bridge and thousands of padlocks need to be removed every year. To deter people there is a €50 penalty for those caught doing it and that is a much higher price than I would be prepared to pay for eternal bondage!
Actually, it may be that there is some truth in this tale because according to ‘Eurostat’ even though the divorce rate has doubled in the last five years Italy has one of the lowest rates in the European Union. Sweden has the highest and although I don’t know this for a fact I’m willing to bet that across all of Europe the Vatican State probably has the absolute lowest!