A Closer Look at the Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 19, 2012
I realised that the earlier shots of the Ponte Vecchio (the postcard shots 🙂 ) don’t really give you a sense of what it’s like to cross the bridge on foot, so these photos will take you across the bridge itself. The first photo (above) shows the western side of the bridge (most of the photos I showed you earlier were taken from the east). The shops are built on the outside of the bridge, on supports. As I mentioned earlier, originally they were meat shops but the smell and the mess weren’t in keeping with the dignity of the only direct route between the Palazzo Pitti (residence of the Grand Dukes) and the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio (seats of government).
The next photo was taken from the sidewalk along the Arno River, walking towards the bridge.
The middle of the bridge is an open square. There are no shops on the western side, where all those people are leaning against the wall. On the eastern side, the Vasari Corridor (second floor) passes over an open arcade.
Open square with a bust of Cellini, surround by fences covered with padlocks, despite the 200 Euro fine.
Portico at the north end of the bridge. If you continue straight, under the arches, you are walking directly under the Vasari Corridor to the Uffizi. If you turn right, you are on the bridge.
Walking over the bridge. Lots of tourists and lots of gold jewelry. You can see the open square ahead.
Looking up at the Vasari Corridor on the eastern side of the bridge (Cellini is behind you). The original small windows were replaced at Mussolini’s orders with panoramic windows in 1939, so that Hitler could have a better view of the Arno.
View looking back towards the north end, if you turn 180 degrees (it looks like I didn’t take any photos of the south end of the bridge, probably because it was rather non-descript, with jewelry shops on either side and expensive hotels and restaurants on the other side):