Ponte Vecchio (Florence, Italy)

The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) in Florence now has two neighbors, but until 1218 it was the only bridge spanning the Arno River in the city. As such, it has always maintained an important role as a main city thoroughfare. Originally occupied by butchers and tanners, goldsmiths replaced them after a 1593 decree (to the olfactory relief of many of the citizens). You can still browse for jewelry on the bridge today. The famous ruling Medici family had the enclosed walkway you see over the bridge built in 1565 to allow them to walk between Pitti Palace and the Ufizzi without having to hobnob with the locals.

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