Ponte Vecchio also know as The Golden Bridge is another treasure of our history, yet again in beautiful Florence, Italy! It is known to be build by the Romans in the Arno’s narrowest point little before the year 1000. It has always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables before their premises. The back shops (retrobotteghe) that may be seen from upriver, were added in the seventeenth century.
A funny story here is that the term of bankruptcy so common in these day originated here: when a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this was called “bancorotto”. Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to sell anything. During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by Germans during their retreat unlike all other bridges in Florence according to many locals and tour guides, because of an express order by Hitler.
Nowadays the Ponte Vecchio is one of the most visited spots in Florence: taking pictures of the river Arno both sides, shopping in one of the many Jewelry stores, looking at street artists and so on!
For those Museum’s addicted is worth to mention a visit the the Corridoio Vasariano. This corridor was commissioned to Giorgio Vasari by Cosimo I dei Medici in 1564 to have a reserved path from Palazzo Vecchio the administration center to Palazzo Pitti. Today it offers a collection of self portraits from various artists and a unique view of the river Arno. The windows as per Vasari’s design were smaller ordered to replace them with larger ones for a Visit of Hitler’s in 1939 and offer him a better view of the river Arno, hopefully this helped with the decision of not destroying the bridge during German’s retreat in 1944.
Enjoy your visits, for more information on how to book tickets, opening and closing ours check the http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/.