Last updated: 5 march, 2010 - 09:10 GMT

Community and Society

Spanning the World

Padlocks on the Ponte Milvio

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Bridges can symbolize man's desire to span the world, to bring people closer together and to access further territories.

This series looks at the significance of bridges as icons, as a means of connecting communities - or delineating separateness.

Part Two - Ponte Milvio

"They look like a swarm of bees that shine. Clipped to chains. Clipped to one another."

The Ponte Milvio is a special place for Rome's lovers. People express their devotion to each other when they padlock their names to posts along the walkway and throw the key into the Tiber.

But the bridge has a more ancient history.

The Battle of the Milvian Bridge marked the beginning of Constantine's conversion to Christianity - and so the beginning of a Christian Roman Empire.

This programme explores a site of both romantic and religious pilgrimage.

First broadcast 5 April 2010




  • What does the Brooklyn Bridge mean to people?

  • The Ponte Milvio is a site of romance and religion

  • Can a bridge unite two countries with a past?

  • How did London Bridge end up in Arizona?


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