Once again, our fellow Earth inhabitants have taken something that would be frowned upon otherwise and made it beautiful. Rome has taken steps to encourage the expression of love shown by and between its citizens and turned it into a beautiful public display of affection. A book and movie recently released in Italy planted the idea of lovers writing their names on a padlock, locking that padlock to the bridge and tossing the key into the Tiber. They were symbolically locking themselves together and literally tossing away the key.
When said expression of love started to damage the architecture and accoutrements on the bridge, politicians at first tried to eliminate the problem, but then moved to make it acceptable by providing safer (for the bridge) alternatives for the lock-ees. While some lock-ees find it more scripted and less romantic, others are glad that this form of communal artwork will remain.
I say Bravo. Here in Boston, said padlocks would either destroy the already decaying bridge completely or be continually disposed of by the city. But certainly not encouraged. Alas, I'd say our romantic wings are most likely clipped on an issue like this.
Either way, just another reason why I love Italy.