Saturday, 9 July 2011

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio in Florence has to be one of the most photographed in the whole world and after living there for a year I have to confess that I love this place and I have a "ridiculous" amount of pictures of this bridge. And one of the best things to do in Florence is relaxing in the sun by the bridge, just enjoying the view - and a gelato (ice cream) and watching all the tourists going by.....

Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval bridge that was built in wood and stone. After being destroyed by a flood it was reconstructed and made entirely out of stones. Since that time (around 1345) it has been destroyed and reconstructed several times.

The bridge has shops built along it as once was common. The shops were initially inhabited by butchers, but since the 1500s it has been inhabited by jewellers (and lately also art dealers and souvenir sellers). The butchers were kicked out of the shops all those years ago, because they used to throw the meat that were gone off into the river and this was not appreciated by the people who lived along the river...

In 1939 the bridge was visited by Hitler, Mussolini and other high ranking nazists and fascists. Because of this the three big "windows" right at the middle of the bridge was removed so that they could have a better view from it....

During the German retreat after the second world war they blew up all the other bridges along the river Arno. It is said that they didn't blow up Ponte Vecchio due to historical reasons. (Don't know if it's true, though...)

After the war they reconstructed all the other bridges over the river, so they are fairly new in comparison to Ponte Vecchio that dates back from 1345 and really deserves to be called Ponte Vecchio which in Italian means "the old bridge".

Below you will find some of my pictures of the bridge. However, I don't have a picture of the bridge with snow on top. So this means that one day I just have to go back....

You can make the pictures bigger by clicking on them













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