“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found in between the pages of a passport.”
Visiting Florence won’t be complete without viewing this beautiful bridge, the Ponte Vecchio. During our few days stay in Florence, we happened to pass by this bridge several times and during these times, I especially noticed the amazing cloud formation above it. That made me love the view even more.
8 Facts/Fun Facts about the Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio or Old Bridge, is a medieval Three-arch stone bridge that was the only bridge crossing the Arno River until 1218. It is one of the great icons of Florence and one of the famous bridges in the world.
This is not the original bridge, the original one was built by the Romans in 996 made by stone and wood. It was destroyed twice in 1117 and in 1333 by floods that swept through Florence. This current bridge was designed by Taddeo Gaddi in 1345 to withstand being destroyed by the floods in Florence.
During World War II the Ponte Vecchio Bridge is the only one spared from destruction by the retreating German army.
Benito Mussolini wanted to impress his guest, Adolf Hitler, during his state visit in 1939. He had the original 3 windows in the centre of the bridge made into larger viewing gallery for him. It is said that Adolf Hitler was a fan of the view and this convinced him and the other German officers to spare the Ponte Vecchio being destroyed in the 1944 retreat.
This pedestrian bridge is often teeming with tourists and the many musicians, portraitists and other entertainers creating a constantly vibrant atmosphere. But initially, Ponte Vecchio was occupied by butchers, now it is home to glamorous tradesmen like jewellers and gold and silver smiths that it is now known as ‘The Golden Bridge’ and attracts many visitors in search of sparkly wares.
Although you can explore Ponte Vecchio by foot, another fantastic way to view it is by sailing underneath to view its beautiful structure.
To get back the money that was spent in the rebuilding of the bridge, the Florence government decided to rent out the shops that were built in the Ponte Vecchio.
You can always find a handful of padlocks attached to the fence near and around the statue of Cellini. This statue was erected in 1901 to commemorate the goldsmith’s 400th birthday.
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