The Ponte Vecchio – Exploring Florence
The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval pedestrian bridge which spans over the river Arno in Florence, and attracts tourists, musicians, painters and entertainers to create a very amicable atmosphere.
It is one of the few remaining bridges that have houses built over it. The Uffizi is connected to the Pitti Palace via the Vasari Corridor that runs over the houses. One will be astonished at the beauty of the place during dusk, especially when seen from Ponte Santa Trinita.
The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence and its existence can be traced back to ancient roman times. It was built in the fourteenth century to replace a bridge that was washed down by a flood. Its importance is intensified by the fact that it is the only bridge in Florence that survived the World War II.
The houses constructed on the bridge are a result of a European practice during the middle ages. They were actually workshops for shopkeepers practicing different trades. Initially there were butchers and tanners but later they were replaced by goldsmiths because of the garbage and foul odor the former produced.
On taking a peek into some of these shops, one will see jewelry which includes both affordable and precious antique stuff. This makes these shops a haven for buyers ‐ locals and tourists alike. You could purchase a trinket or two from here as a souvenir from Florence.
The Vasari Corridor wraps around the Manelli Tower on the south side. The people who owned the tower had built it for the purpose of defending the bridge, and refused to destroy it in order to help the construction of the corridor, which therefore led to the construction of the corridor around the tower. On one end of the corridor is the Uffizi Gallery, arguably the most famous museum of Florence which consisted of paintings and art works of the sixteenth century made by the most famous of painters like Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli etc.
Loggia dei Lanzi, the beautiful arched gallery that was built in the fourteenth century also makes for a marvelous visual. It is located at the Piazza della Signoria facing the Palazzo Vecchio. The Palazzo Vecchio is the city hall of Florence built in the fourteenth century as the Palace of the People. It resembles a fortress and is a famous tourist site.