Ponte Vecchio, FlorenceDecember 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C
We had a fairly early start today and first on the agenda today was breakfast and a stroll through the empty streets. Not sure if it is because it is a Sunday, or we are up early, but this morning it was lovely to be able to explore Florence without heaps of people around. We walked through the high-end of town, puzzled by what is “fashion” as we checked out the window displays in the posh shops. Sometimes it looks like people have gotten dressed in the dark but because it is in a window display in fashionable Florence it must be okay and trendy to wear. Weird but fun to check out.
We walked over the Ponte Santa Trinita (the Saint Trinita bridge) and enjoyed the views of Ponte Alla Carraia to one side and the famous Ponte Vecchio to the other. Ponte Vecchio, also known as the Golden Bridge, is one of the most striking of Florence’s six bridges and it is thought to date back as far as the Romans who constructed stone pillars and wooden planks on this site. Until 1218 it was the only bridge that crossed the Arno River and has had to be rebuilt twice after collapsing due to flood damage. The bridge consists of three arches that support the covered crossing which is topped with stores and houses. It was rebuilt in 1565 during the reign of the Medici family with a covered corridor constructed on top of the bridge store, to allow them to walk directly between the Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti with even stepping foot outside or having to encounter pesky commoners.
Traders have set up shop along the covered bridge as far back as the 13th century. Today the shops consist mainly of jewelers and goldsmiths selling their golden treasures at exorbitant prices. It is nice to look but too expensive to buy. It was interesting walking over the bridge first thing this morning with all the wooden shutters and doors shut tight compared to when we crossed later in the day with the public holiday crowds milling about.
We spent an enjoyable morning having the traditional Italian breakfast, pastries and coffee, before making our way to the Palazzo Pitti, our first stop for the day.Read more