Pre-dating Venice’s Rialto Bridge by several centuries, the Ponte Vecchio is arguably one of the world’s most famous bridges, and has been an integral part of Florence for the last 600 years. Spanning the most important section of the River Arno, the bridge is an incredible jumble of medieval architecture, and quite unlike anything else in Italy.
The Ponte Vecchio is pedestrian-only, with a main thoroughfare joined on each side by an array of craft shops and stalls, now renowned for selling the finest gold and jewellery in the city. The entire expanse is topped by a ruler-straight passageway known as Vasari’s Corridor – an enclosed walkway that allowed the Medici family to travel between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti without mingling with the public.
Miraculously, the Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge in Florence not destroyed during WWII, and stands today as a tribute to many centuries of Florentine life.