Ecco Le Marche

When you say Copenhagen, you immediately think of the world-famous Little Mermaid. But did you know that there is also such a beautiful statue in a harbor in Le Marche?
…and if I might say, with a much better background!

For this you have to be in the seaside town of Senigallia.

The bronze Penelope has been waiting for returning fishermen, emigrants and all those who left their homeland since 2004. Semi-sunken in the rock and surrounded by hundreds of padlocks, symbol of eternal love.

The Italian artist Gianni Guerra once strolled with his wife Elly along the quayside in Senigallia. In the distance they saw a ship leaving the harbor …. unlike many other bathing and fishing towns, there was no monument here for those left behind. He immediately thought of his statue Penelope that stood in Val di Fassa (Dolomites). In fact, she fit in much better here. After all, Penelope symbolized the faithful partner who waited for her husband Odysseus for years. Forever immortalized by Homer in his epic Odysseus.

In July 2004 the time had come, Penelope was now allowed to gaze over the Adriatic Sea, Gianni Guerra hung a padlock on the chain at the inauguration and threw the key into the sea water…. with time hundreds of people imitated this gesture. Love would only pass if the key was found.

This custom to hang padlocks on bridges, etc., became all the rage after the Italian writer Federico Moccia had his protagonists also attach a padlock to the Ponte Milvio in Rome…in his book and film Ho voglia di te . This phenomenon soon spread all over the world; even in Moscow there are bridges with padlocks…

Incidentally, the students of the Military School Scuola di Sanità in Costa San Giorgio in Florence are said to have started this in the 1950s. When they said goodbye, they hung their padlocks from their locker on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Nowadays people are less happy about it, some bridges are in danger of being damaged under the weight and all those thrown away keys are not ecological either.

But you can still enjoy the beautiful bronze statue, even without hanging padlocks! Type Porto Senigallia Penelope into Google Maps and you can walk there in no time.


Joseph Nova · 20 September 2021 at 06:59

Over that past 8 years I’ve walked past Penelope many times. I didn’t know she had a name and I knew nothing about her history. Now I do! Thank you. Your blog has gained a new fan!

    Laura · 20 September 2021 at 17:35

    Welcome to Ecco le Marche, Joseph! Thank you for your comment! I’m really glad our post helped you in learning something more about the fascinating Penelope. I hope you’ll find some other hidden histories and stories in here 🙂 Enjoy your reading, Laura

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