Arno River, Firenze, Italia

Arno River, Firenze, Italia

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ponte Vecchio at night.

Our walk along the Arno River to Ponte Vecchio gave us a spectacular view of the sunset.  Blues, purples, and pinks outlined the cityscape and mixed with the city lights.  Ponte Vecchio (Ponte meaning bridge) is the oldest Florentine bridge of the eight spanning the Arno River.  Ponte Vecchio is an ancient structure, reconstructed from its own salvaged parts after the Nazis destroyed it in 1944.  It’s original structure, however, was built in 1220 by the Romans, part of the ancient road, Via Cassia, which led to Rome.  During the Middle Ages, it housed the center for leather goods as well as fresh fish and meat.   However, due to the horrible stench, fishmongers and butchers were evicted from the bridge by Ferdinand de’ Medici and replaced with a more refined market, jewelry, in his efforts to promote the important of artisans and their trades throughout Florence.  Crossing this bridge enters a visitor into another world—the Hollywood of Firenze.  High-class wine bars, specialty stores, and restaurants with beautiful views of the city line the streets.  

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