Ponte Vecchio – the Bridge with a Rich History
In the breathtaking region of Tuscany, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in the culture or would rather try some of the amazing traditional dishes and fine wines that this part of Italy has to offer, everyone can agree that Tuscany has a variety of things to see and do.
Almost anyone who wants to spend their trip exploring the fascinating city of Florence should consider taking a look at one of the region’s most iconic historical sites; Ponte Vecchio.
The history of the Ponte Vecchio
You’re likely to find that there’s a broad range of things to do in Florence, but the bridge is a must-visit for several reasons. For example, this bridge is the oldest crossing on the Arno river – and it’s stayed in the same position since it was rebuilt in 1345 – during the roman era.
The shops running alongside the bridge are home to mostly jewelers and souvenir stores, making it a great place for those who want to do a little shopping during their visit to this wonderful city.
The Ponte Vecchio is quite a recognizable landmark and is well known across the globe, although you may be interested to hear that it has changed quite a bit over the years – so why not take the chance to learn more about this incredible site?
When was the bridge built?
The structure we know so well today is the Ponte Vecchio that was rebuilt after the original was destroyed during floods in 1345 – so how long ago was this bridge constructed?
There’s no documentation that actually tells us when the iconic bridge was made. However, we do know that it was first mentioned in a document that dates back to 996. We also know that the superstructure was made of wood, and the piers of stone that were favored by the Romans.
How has the Ponte Vecchio changed over the years?
1345 wasn’t the first or last time that construction work on the bridge had to be done – and the first record of it being destroyed is in 1117. It was rebuilt with stone this time, but only lasted up until 1333 when it was once again taken away by strong floods.
The reconstruction in 1345 gave us the three arches that have made the bridge such an iconic landmark to this day – but historians are still unsure whether to credit the design and construction to Taddeo Gaddi or Neri di Fioravanti.
Ponte Vecchio wasn’t always a popular shopping destination
In 1442, it was mainly butchers who had shops in the buildings running along the bridge. This was changed in 1593 though, when Ferdinand I ordered that jewelers and goldsmiths should instead sell their merchandise to eliminate the smell of waste left by the butchers.