Address: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze Fl, Italy
The history of Ponte Vecchio bridge is the history of Florence. This magnificent Medieval bridge has provided Florentine residents a path to cross the river Arno.
The current version of the bridge was rebuilt in 1345, but the origins date back as far as the 10th century when the Romans built the original bridge (it appears in Roman documents as early as 996). The bridge was damaged by powerful floods in 1117 and 1333.
Fun Facts: There is a stone inscription from Dante that records the assassination of Buondelmonte de” Buondelmonti by the Amidei clan.
Since the early days of the bridge shop keepers have established themselves on the bridge to sell their goods. With high level of foot traffic and essentially a very attentive customer base, this was the best spot in town for a shop.
Beginning in 1442 butchers monopolized all the shops on the bridge; however a 1595 decree prohibited butchers from selling meat on Ponte Vecchio. Jewelers took over the shops at that time and to this day they remain the sole merchants on the bridge.
In the middle of the Ponte Vecchio bridge you will see large windows. These were designed in 1939 by order of Mussolini for Hitler’s visit so that he could enjoy the view without any obstruction. Hitler enjoy the bridge so much, he prevented the destruction of it as Allies took over Florence.
To walk across the bridge is free to all visitors.
If you are interested in a more unique way to see Ponte Vecchio bridge and the rest of Florence you may want to choose an Electric Cart Tour of Florence. You can purchase your tickets here: