When contractors went to work on taking down France’s legendary French love locks landmark, hearts around the world simultaneously shattered into pieces. For years, romantics would leave padlocks on the Pont des Arts bridge as a representation of their love. Unfortunately, this public display of affection eventually caused the bridge to reach its maximum weight capacity, leading to the inevitable. The country that’s given the world La Vie en Rose, crêpes and the Eiffel Tower is now without one of its most prized sights.
But fear not, fellow hopeless romantics. There are a few more gems in the world that provide unique opportunities to show your love.
The Bridge of Sighs, Italy
In itself, Venice is a city of romance, but its 17th-century The Bridge of Sighs is unmissable for the lovers out there. Designed by Antonio Contino, the bridge has served many roles, including a city jail to its interrogation rooms. An Italian legend says that eternal love and bliss will be with all lovers that kiss on a gondola at sunset under the Bridge of Sighs. But beware: this endless love only happens if the kiss takes place as the bells of St. Mark’s Campanile toll. Lovers “sigh” as they are overcome by the romance of the experience—hence, the Bridge of Sighs.
Juliet’s Balcony, Verona
Romeo and Juliet may be one of the most recognizable love stories in the world’s history. Despite the tale’s gruesome end, the idea of star-crossed lovers woos thousands to this courtyard in Verona, believed to be where Romeo fought for Juliet’s love. Officially called Casa di Giulietta, the balcony—which ironically is predated by Shakespeare—overlooks a stunning courtyard that tourists flock to year after year. Try to keep the romance in perspective, though. Tourists have been known to leave sentimental notes beneath the balcony as a gesture of love, only to be fined 500 euros for their efforts.
Spanish Flamenco, Granada
Flamenco, the Spanish folk music from Andalucía in southern Spain, is the epitome of passion and and seduction, and flamenco dance has been taught around the world, even becoming one of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. But there’s still nothing like enjoying the dance with a significant other at a fiesta in Granada. Be ready to dance well into the morning, because the Spanish are known to enjoy every minute of the day.
Taj Mahal, India
As one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is a sight that no one should miss in a lifetime. The incredible masterpiece was built by Emperor Shah Jahan near the end of the 17th century to honor his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Mahal died during childbirth, breaking the emperor's heart, and the mausoleum houses her jewel-covered white-marble tomb. Visitors can walk through the surrounding gardens and enjoy reflecting pools as they reflect on their own loves, lost and otherwise.
Mount Hua Shan, Huayin
Parisians don’t have a lock on the lovelock idea. On Mount Hua Shan, one of China’s most sacred (and utterly terrifying) mountains, hikers leave trails covered with golden locks and red ribbons. Despite the steep, treacherous climb, adventurers have made sure that love will always find a way.