Monday, October 24, 2011

Love Locks

In the Cinque Terre, there is a paved trail that goes between two of the tiny towns, Riomaggiore and Monterosso.  They were so isolated from each other let alone the other towns, that the locals rarely married anyone else from another town.  

In the 20's a trail was made between the two towns while train lines were being built, where in the middle a gunpowder warehouse was placed.  The locals were delighted with the trail that now connected the two towns and asked that it be improved and kept as a permanent connection.   Unfortunately the trail was prone to landslides and it was closed more than it was open.  After WWII, the trail was reopened and it became known as Via dell'Amore because of the meeting between lover's from the two towns.  It was a journalist in 1949 who came up with the name which means "Pathway of Love". 

All along the trail you find these "Locks of Love", up a slope on heavy cables holding the rocky walled cliff in place and down below where shear cliffs drop to the sea on other cables.  Most are on the railings that line the walkway.  We found them first in Venice where the top photo was taken.  We would find them in such odd places, sometimes single and sometimes groups of them. 

When we strolled down the Via dell'Amore they were everywhere.  Some in the most difficult places one could find to secure their everlasting declaration of love.  I wondered if lover's who have broken up come back to remove theirs or do they just leave them to weather the seasons?

Some locks were written on and some where carved with names or initials.  There is a long covered walkway that graffiti written devotions and sometimes poetic phrases have been added.  All very acceptable to do.  You see the typical heart drawn with the names of sweethearts as you would anywhere.  I personally loved the locks.  Anyone can draw and write a name but a lock feels forever.   

When next I go back to Venice I want my Love and I to find a place to lock our love.  We will find that special spot, linger over a kiss while in loving embrace, and place our lock inscribed with our names. Our forever love.


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