It is not as easy as one might think to find information on this topic, outside of Wikipedia. Most of the time a search for Love Locks will turn up results for Locks of Love, which is a great charitable organization, or the township of Lovelock in Pershing County, Nevada; but neither of them have anything to do with the topic at hand. This is going to be short and sweet, like the chocolates that are being consumed today.
According to the best historical blurb on the subject of Love Locks, they can be attributed to Serbia, “where they can be traced to even before World War II… As young girls from Vrnjačka Banja wanted to protect their own loves, they started writing down their names, together with the names of their loved ones, on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet.” (Wikipedia – Love lock). In 1992 Italian author Federico Moccia’s self published his first book Tre metri sopra il cielo [Three meters above the sky]. Moccia’s first and second books started to draw in a younger Italian audience that emulated the actions of his novels’ protagonists in their approach to a declaration of eternal love by use of a padlock attached to a railing of the Ponte Milvio (Milvio Bridge over the Tiber) in Rome with their names scrawled on the lock body.
The historic lore and popular culture resurgence has led many to believe that by putting their names on the body of a padlock, locking it to a bridge rail (or other permanent public structure) and discarding the key (most often in the body of water under the bridge) their love will spring eternal. While the sentiment is lovely, Love Locks have led to some level of controversy these days over the grooving number of Love Locks or the aesthetics. These controversies have lead to many city municipalities having the padlocks removed. Ironically, this unlocks the question, ‘if a Love Lock is removed, will the love be eternal’?