Italy x Reader: Ponte dei Sospiri
Commission for: romancebookfanatic11
AN: This is my first commission, and I hope it was worth it!
"Feli, wait up!" you exclaimed to the eager Italian. You had agreed to let him give you a tour of his hometown, Venice, but he was walking too fast in his excitement. He finally stopped and let you catch your breath. "Thanks," you sighed.
"Come on, bella!" he smiled. "The Bridge of Sighs is on the other side of town!" He took your hand in his and led you toward the Doge's Palace.
You ran through cobblestone streets and across bridges connecting the little islands of shops and houses together. The total population of Venice was under 300,000, which was a pretty big number for such a water-logged town. Feliciano seemed to know most of them, though, saying hello to a few shop owners here and there (which would make sense since he grew up with them.) He weaved in and out of the crowds skillfully, used to the bustling streets of the City of Water. He turned left; you were in a residential area where little kids played in the atrium of their homes. Then right; restaurants lined the streets and filled the air with the savory smell of Italian food and fresh bread baking.
The two of you soon stood on a bridge made of stone and mortar, connecting two very tall buildings made of red brick. There was a river beneath you, like so many others. But this place seemed a little different. You could feel a wave of sadness pass over you as you took in a beautiful sight; a little ways up the man-made river was a large arc that connected the two aged buildings. It had two little squares with an intricate pattern in them, and the top of the arc strutted swirls that befit royalty. It looked like a regular arc, until Felicano told you otherwise.
"That's the Ponte dei Sospiri, bella," he smiled sadly. "It's a bridge that connected the interrogation rooms on one side of the river, to the prison on the other side." You looked up at him, and he smiled back at you. "It's called the Bridge of Sighs because prisoners who would be convicted of their crimes would take one last look at Venice and sigh before they were locked away in the dark." He smiled up at the bridge. "Or so the legend says."
You stared at the bridge for a minute. "It must have been horrible..."
"Hm? What's that?" Feliciano wondered aloud.
"You're in a beautiful city and you're forced to stay in a dark cell for a long time... What kind of crimes did these people commit?" You asked.
Feliciano laughed. "Well, when the bridge was finished, inquisitions and executions were part of the old days. Mostly they were small-time criminals. Maybe you didn't paint your house when you were supposed to. Or maybe you forgot to tip your waiter. It was small things like that. They served quite a long sentence, though..."
You shuddered at the thought of crossing the bridge. It seemed like adding insult to injury, giving you the last look of the city. As if showing you what you would be missing out on. And all because you did something so small it could hardly be worthy of years of incarceration.
You felt Feliciano's fingers lace with yours. "Are you okay, bella?" he asked with a worried tone. "I know! Let's go get some gelato! That will cheer you up!"
After a trip to the gelato shop and thirty-six different types of pasta and pasta sauce later, you noticed that it was getting a little late. The sun was getting ready to set on the horizon, and you still hadn't done what most people do when they're in Venice: ride a gondola.
You saw many little boats floating about the canals like little ducklings. Each one had a gondolier, and they were mostly full of people whom you decided were tourists as almost all of them carried cameras. There were so many things to do in the city, though. You feared your tour guide would skip the gondola ride altogether. But your prayers were soon answered as Feliciano pulled you into a delicate little boat and muttered something in Italian to the gondolier. You looked at the buildings above you as Feliciano explained everything about every building. "That was was built in 836 AD, but the original was destroyed in a fire." He mentioned. "And that is where I used to live as a little bambino!"
You smiled through the whole tour, getting a different view on the city from the river instead of the street. The tall buildings glowed in the orange light of the setting sun, and as the star sunk deeper into ground, Feliciano started getting quieter and quieter until he was hardly speaking at all. "Bella," he called to you. You felt your cheeks light up as he gently took you hand in his. "Grazie. It was fun showing you around the city," he smiled softly. He gave your hand a small peck and looked up behind you. "Do you remember the Ponte dei Sospiri?" You nodded. "There is one more legend to it."
You looked up and saw the bridge slowly creeping up over the two of you. "And what would that be, Feli?"
Feliciano moved closer and stroked your cheek gently with his warm and delicate fingers. "If two people share a kiss under the bridge at sunset, they will be granted eternal love and bliss."
A soothing chill ran down your spine and you reached up and locked your lips with his, the legendary bridge passing over you like a cloud. "Well," you said when you parted from him. A sense of euphoria and satisfaction hit you like a wave, pulling you deeper into the emotion. "Can I trust you to love me forever?"
Italy giggled. "Of course, bella! Italians are the best lovers, after all~" he winked.