Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 4, 2012
The present Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) was constructed in 1335, but a bridge has stood on this site since Roman times. It is one of the most photogenic landmarks in Florence (and that’s saying a lot), straddling the Arno River at its narrowest point.
Originally the shops built onto the sides of the bridges were butchers’ shops. However, after Cosimo I commissioned Giorgio Vasari to build the Vasari Corridor above the bridge, to connect the Palazzo Vecchio (“Old Palace,” or Florence’s city hall) and the Palazzo Pitti, the butchers were replaced with gold merchants to enhance the bridge’s prestige. It’s still Florence’s bling center.
The photo below was taken from the Uffizi (“Offices,” or administrative building, now Florence’s most famous art gallery). You can see the Vasari Corridor running over the top of the bridge, turning right and into the Uffizi. We didn’t go inside the corridor, which is now the world’s longest portrait gallery. Tours are quite expensive (around $100 per person).
The next photo was taken from Piazzale Michelangelo.
This photo was taken from the Ponte alle Grazie, a bridge that runs parallel to the Ponte Vecchio, to the east. We were going across at night.
Piazzale Michelangelo again:
Taken from the Ponte Santa Trinita, the bridge west of the Ponte Vecchio: