"walked along the Ponte Vecchio"

The Ponte Vecchio
Creative Commons AttributionThe Ponte Vecchio - Credit: Flavio

The Ponte Vecchio is one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks. The Medieval stone arched bridge is not the original structure to stand on the spot – it is thought that the Romans also bridged the Arno River at this, its narrowest point – but dates back to 1345. As was common at the time, small buildings were built all along both sides of the bridge, which once were shops for butchers and grocers. Unusually for a modern bridge the buildings remain, now housing expensive jewellers, leather merchants, art dealers and souvenir shops, and the bridge is one of Florence’s most-visited sights.

Unlike the rest of Florence’s bridges, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by German troops at the end of World War II – it is suggested that this was on Hitler’s express orders.