Ponte Vecchio is the most evocative location in Florence. When you find yourself in the heart of the old city Centre surrounded by hills and ancient bridges, everything becomes possible – even the chance of eternal love. Thousands of padlocks of all shapes and sizes are attached to the bridge fence, mostly around the statue of Benvenuto Cellini. One might ask what locks and bridges have to do with love: but there is a legend saying that your love will be eternal and true if you lock a padlock to Ponte Vecchio and throw the key away into the river Arno. Although Florance was not the place where this tradition began, it is one of the most famous locations: padlocks on bridges, however, can be found in many cities in the world, including Helsinki. Although we don’t exactly know where this tradition emerged from, we can guess that the first person to place a padlock on the Ponte Vecchio was a locksmith who was trying advertise his work.
This was probably because Ponte Vecchio had always a commercial side, even in the times of the Medici family. A couple of years ago the government had to release an ordinance to remove most of the padlocks, as they were starting to give Ponte Vecchio a strange and gaudy appearance. This task was close to impossible, as the padlocks were multiplying every day because of all the tourists who wanted to pledge their romantic and eternal adoration for their significant other. Romance on Ponte Vecchio is rather expensive these days, because if you are caught locking anything to Ponte Vecchio you will receive a penalty of 50 euros. Some padlocks are still there, however, and we hope they will be left there for good as a reminder of the possibility that love can really last forever.