The Ponte Vecchio (literally translated as Old Bridge) is universally known as one of the most important spot in Florence!
So small and so magical, it has a long history behind, which fixes its origin in Roman times, at the end of the year 1000, when in this point there was already a wooden building, then destroyed several times.
It crosses the river Arno in its narrowest point and its architecture is really unique.
The first version with stone arches dating from the 12º century and the current form with 3 arches dates back after the construction of the "lungarni" (1345) by Taddeo Gaddi or Neri da Fioravante.
During the 15º century the city authorities did move on the bridge all the stalls of the butchers who left smelly traces around the city. The butchers mounted of their small rooms overlooking the river. But when, a century later, Vasari built the famous Vasari Corridor, connecting Palazzo Vecchio, where the Medici had their offices, and Palazzo Pitti, where they lived, without the need to go into the streets and tackle unnecessary risks, things changed. The corridor passed over the Ponte Vecchio, and the smell of the meat was a problem again! Shops of butchers were replaced with jewelry shop, still present on the bridge and so representative nowadays.
During the bombings of World War II, Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge in Florence spared by Nazis, however they destroyed the access to the points and opened windows on it.
Today it remains one of the undisputed symbol of Florence, a must see for every romantic stroll, a summer ice cream or a photo-souvenir.
Anyway, the privileged point of observation is clearly not the bridge itself, if not the next bridge, the Ponte Santa Trinita. The more daring can go down on what the Florentines call "triangles": the very pillars of the bridge, where you can enjoy the most spectacular view of Ponte Vecchio completely mirrored into the river.
At night, prove to believe it, you can get to confuse reality from reflection.
Credits Pics: Laura Mangoni