This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Ponte Vecchio’

A Closer Look at the Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 19, 2012

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

I realised that the earlier shots of the Ponte Vecchio (the postcard shots ūüôā ) 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.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Open square with a bust of Cellini, surround by fences covered with padlocks, despite the 200 Euro fine.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Walking over the bridge. Lots of tourists and lots of gold jewelry. You can see the open square ahead.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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):

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 4, 2012

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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).

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

The next photo was taken from Piazzale Michelangelo.

Ponto Vecchio, Florence

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.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo again:

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Sunset over Arno River, Florence

Taken from the Ponte Santa Trinita, the bridge west of the Ponte Vecchio:

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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Return to Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 6, 2012

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

We went back to Piazzale Michelangelo on June 11, 2012. Why twice in the same trip? Because the light is never the same twice. If you look at the photos I took on June 5, you’ll see the difference.

Great Synagogue of Florence, with its distinctive green dome. Built in the late 19th century, it is a fine example of Moorish revival architecture. I don’t have any photos of the interior because it was Shabbat when I visited.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

The Duomo in a golden light.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Chorus line of tripods. Piazzale Michelangelo is on almost every photographer’s To Do list. One guy set up a laptop and shot a time-lapse video.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Sun flare over the Arno River.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Setting sun reflected off the light of the Arno River, with the Ponte Vecchio in the foreground.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Lovers’ locks. Lovers buy padlocks, lock them to a gate or fence (the fence around a sculpture on the Ponte Vecchio is covered with them) and throw the key away or into the Arno River, as a symbol of eternal love. Although signs are posted warning of a 200 Euro fine and the authorities periodically cut the locks off the fences, people still leave locks on fences. This fence was on the lower terrace of the Piazzale, with the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio in the background.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Florence just after Sunset

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

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