The Milvian Bridge, the first bridge dedicated to Love and locks, standing proudly over the River Tiber for over 1800 years, telling us a silent but powerful tale of a battle won by Emperor Constantine after receiving a message from above.
Si tolgono i lucchetti dell’amore a Ponte Milvio – fotografo: Benvegnù Guaitoli
One of the oldest bridges in human history was built and reconstructed many times and for a reason. Consul Gaius Claudius Nero requested and sponsored the building of the bridge in 206 BC, in honor of his victory in the Battle of the Metaurus against the Carthaginian army. Since it was getting in a bad shape in 109 BC censor Marcus Aemilius Scaurus ordered its reconstruction and it was then made in stone. Since then it was repaired and remodeled 4 times of which the last time was in 1850 by Pope Pius IX.
A famous story is linked to this romantic monument. It is believed that on the eve of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge Emperor Constantine I set to pray and upon looking into the sky he saw a vision of the cross and a message saying: “By this sign, you will conquer.” He won the battle and spread out Christianity on 28th October 312 AD when it happened.
At the beginning of the 2000s, couples in Love began a tradition that is copied around the world, which is locking a padlock on this ancient bridge’s lamppost and throwing the key into the river as a declaration of their eternal Love.
Unfortunately, this tradition, regardless of how sweet and romantic it is, has damaged the lampposts situated on the Milvian Bridge since the weight of the padlocks was immense, city officials decided to take all off and ban this couple’s tradition for good to save this pearl of antiquity.
If you dare to put another padlock on this majestic bridge and you get caught, be prepared to pay a 50euro penalty for it is a crime to damage it.
Nowadays many couples visit the Milvian bridge to enjoy the view of the Tiber and share their affection.
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