Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Location near the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio


Ponte Vecchio Florence

Icon of Florence: Ponte Vecchio bridge

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One of the most photographed icons of Florence, the Ponte Vecchio still takes you back when you actually first set eyes on it in person and immediately reach for your camera.


Ponte Vecchio (in Italian 'Old Bridge') is one of a series of bridges across to the south side of the river Arno from historic centre of Florence.

 

Built of wood and stone, it is the oldest bridge reconstructed in 1345, although there was believed to have been a bridge on the same spot in Roman times. Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge in Florence to escape being blown up during World War 2.


Ponte Vecchio is at the southern border of the historic centre, literally just around the corner from the Uffizi Gallery and landmark Palazzo Vecchio.


Ponte Vecchio is a pedistianised bridge in medieval style with shops on either side. However unlike medieval times, the bridge is today mainly populated with jewellery shops after the Grand Duke Ferdinand I in the 1500s brought in an act to evict the grocers and fishmongers, that were producing much noise and smells.

 

Once on the bridge, apart from some viewpoints out to the river you could just be walking down a street, (see image below).

Walking across Ponte Vecchio Florence

Shop for some souvenirs: walking across Ponte Vecchio, Florence

 

Walking across Ponte Vecchio, two wide terraces open out on to an incredible view of Florence's river.



Vasari Corridor

Running across the top of the Ponte Vecchio is part of the famous Vasari Corridor, built for the ruling Medicis by the Renaissance painter and designer Vasari.


The private enclosed walkway leads from the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence's town hall) and Uffizi Museum, running across the top of the bridge to the Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti) on the other side of the river.


This walkway enabled members of the Medici family to move between their residences without mixing with the crowds.


The entrance to the Vasari Corridor is through the western corridor of the Uffizi.

The passage goes over Ponte Vecchio and up the hill to exit at the Boboli Gardens near the Buontalenti Grotto.


At the moment you can only visit in groups organised through tour companies.

Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor guided tour - full details


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