Friday, March 02, 2007

That's Amore?

Moons like big pizza pies are out. Padlocks and thrown away keys are in. To the chagrin of the Socialist Mayor:

Rome's left-wing Mayor Walter Veltroni has clashed with the right-wing opposition over padlocks left by lovers on a bridge in the city.

He has introduced fines for anyone leaving a padlock on a lamp post on the Ponte Milvio, over the Tiber river.

Many young lovers have hung padlocks there, throwing the keys in the Tiber, so the lamp post is laden with them. The padlocks bear lovers' messages.

The opposition accused Mayor Veltroni of "trampling on lovers' rights".

The love padlock craze comes from a romantic rite mentioned in two novels by Federico Moccia, Tre Metri sopra il Cielo (Three metres above the sky) and Ho Voglia di Te (I Desire You).

The books, published in 1992 and 2006, have become cult novels for young Italians.

Love padlocks have spread into music, with singer Tiziano Ferro producing a video and director Luis Prieto announcing a film about the phenomenon.

A literary prize has been born - "The Golden Padlock" - which is awarded on Ponte Milvio every year on Saint Valentine's Day, 14 February.

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