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Ponte Vecchio Photo Gallery

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The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge", Italian pronunciation: [ˈponte ˈvɛkkjo]) is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio's two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie.

It is the oldest bridge in Florence; it was built in 1345 and it was the only bridge to escape destruction in the World War II. Initially the bridge was occupied by butchers, tanners and blacksmiths but they were evicted by the Medici duke Ferdinand I in 1593 because of the noise and smell they created. Instead the workshops were rented to blacksmiths and jewelers which still occupy the bridge today. The shops seem to be selling everything, from affordable new jewelry to antique one. On the eastern side of the bridge is the Vasari corridor which was used by members of the Medici family to move between Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio via Uffizi. The corridor is full of many famous works of art (unfortunatelly it was closed when we visited Uffizi).

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