Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), one of the great icons of Florence, and one of the most famous bridges in the world, is a medieval stone segmental arch bridge that spans the Arno river at its narrowest point, very close to the original river crossing in Roman times.

In 1565, Cosimo I de’ Medici had Giorgio Vasari construct the Vasari corridor over the bridge to connect the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. After the construction of the corridor, butchers and tanners were not allowed to occupy the shops on the bridge, and the shops were taken over by jewelers and goldsmiths. There is a bust of Benvenuto Cellini, a 16th century goldsmith, on the bridge.

During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge across the Arno that the Germans did not destroy. Instead, they blocked access to the bridge by demolishing the medieval buildings on either side of the bridge.


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