PONTE VECCHIO ..A bridge has spanned this narrow portion of the Arno River since the Roman times. The current bridge, designed by Taddeo Gaddi in 1345, still contained some original features. In the past butchers, blacksmiths and tanners had their shops along Florence's most famous bridge. But, they were no match for the Medicis who kicked them out in the 1500's. They preferred gold and silversmiths. They still had shops spanning the bridge. However, there were a few souvenir shops and some really expensive gelato cafes to rake in tourist Euros.


The View from the Uffizi Gallery

I took my favorite photos of the bridge from the Uffizi Gallery. You could see several other bridges in the background. They may look old, but they were all rebuilt since World War II. The local German commander was ordered to destroy the Ponte Vecchio. Instead, he destroyed buildings at either end of the bridge, leaving it impassible but intact. He has long received the gratitude of the people of Florence, but I wonder what his Nazi leaders felt -- and did?


Copyright 2010 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.