The following post is a guest blog from one of our Mangoes, Alana Wolfman. Alana recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise, where she traveled to Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Turkey. Here is a bit about her time spent in Venice.

Crossing the southern end of the Grand Canal, the Ponte dell’Accademia (aka the Academia Bridge) was the one place in Venice, Italy to make such an impact during my 10-day trip through the Mediterranean.

Rebuilt in 1985, the Ponte dell’Accademia is a busy bridge because it’s one of only four bridges in Venice allowing pedestrians to walk across the main canal. It was designed to replicate the temporary wooden bridge built there in 1932, but the new one was to be built with metal support features to maintain its durability throughout the years. The view from this bridge is absolutely outstanding and, unlike any of the other bridges in Venice, the location almost reaches St. Mark’s Basin and you have wonderful sights in all directions.

It was not only the view that caught my eye; looking down on the inner hand rails on the bridge, I noticed a cluster of pad-locks locked to the railing. Looking around even more, there were multiple clusters of pad-locks, each with writing on them. “Mila + Greg 1998″ and “Dimitri <3 Lena 2003″ and “L + K forever” were just a few.

These “love locks” have been noticed in other cities in Italy, but reportedly started in Hungarian city of Pécs during the 1980s. It is meant to symbolize that lovers’ love lasts forever, where they lock their locks to the rails and throw the key into the waters below. There were so many love locks, I couldn’t believe all of those tourists knew about it! If anyone is going to take a romantic trip to Venice, Italy, head over to the Academia Bridge, but be sure to carry an extra lock with you and a permanent marker.

What other “romantic” traditions have you come across in your travels?

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