The Ponte Vecchio in Florence translates to “Old Bridge” but it should really be called the Jewelry Bridge! It is a beautiful pedestrian bridge that crosses the Arno River.
We were thinking maybe the buildings on the bridge used to be apartments. But once we did some research we realized they were always shops. They were originally all kinds of shops like butchers, fishmongers and tanners. But then in 1593, Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewelers could have their shops on the bridge to improve the city.
The Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218. The current bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. During World War II, it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each side.
I love this display of jewelry:
These cufflinks made from watch parts are so neat:
Views from the bridge: