One of the world’s most famous bridges, Florence, Italy’s ponte vechhio is one of city’s many historical landmarks. With it’s colorful appearance and history, this free attraction is a tourist haven and a cannot be missed site within the city.
The ponte vecchio originally housed butcher shops; butchers would routinely cast the carcasses into the Arno River, causing a horrible stench and causing the area to be quite unpleasant. Grand Duke Fernandino decided that this was not an ideal gateway to the streets leading up to the Palazzo Pitti and had the butchers replaced with gold dealers, who still inhabit the shops of the ponte vecchio to this day. Florence is very well known as a destination for tourists searching for a good deal on gold items and the ponte vecchio is host to some of the cities best jewelers.
The ponte vecchio is the only remaining bridge to survive the retreat of Germans in World War II, when they destroyed the other five bridges that spanned the Arno in Florence. Built in 1345, it still stands as a symbol of the city’s heritage with unique style in comparison to the bridges that have been rebuilt across the river throughout the city.