"Ponte Vecchio and the Vasari Corridor" Ponte Vecchio & Arno River Tip by Tolik
Ponte Vecchio & Arno River, Florence: 203 reviews and 339 photos
The direct route from the city center to the heart of Oltrarno crosses the river on the Ponte Vecchio, the most famous bridge over the Arno River. The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is to Florence what the Tower Bridge is to London. Original bridge was built near the site of the Roman crossing, which was farther upstream. It was built in 1345 to replace an earlier bridge that was swept away by flood, and its shops housed first butchers, then grocers, blacksmiths, butchers, fishmongers and tanners. Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge until 1218. When Cosimo I moved to the Pitti palace, Vasari was commissioned to link the Uffizi with the palace. In 1565 he built the Corridoio Vasariano constructed as a private passageway over the arcades. In 1593 Grand Duke Ferdinando I ejected the butchers and installed goldsmiths and jewelers instead. The bridge is crammed with sightseers and shoppers during the day; in the evening the local guys and tourists alike hang around the bust of Cellini in the middle of the bridge.
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