Firenze wouldn’t be so magical without the river Arno and the world famous “Ponte Vecchio”. This river has something magic!
The main river going through Firenze is the river Arno. I love cities with a river, because it gave them a very special character and most of the times beautiful views from on side and another of the city. It’s the case for Firenze with 2 different part of the city and 2 different moods on the south and north side of river Arno. And crossing the river is like going from one universe to another, like crossing a border and the bridges are very important symbolic places.
Firenze has one fascinating bridge, the “Ponte Vecchio”, that means “old bridge” because it’s almost 650 years old!!! It was built 1345 and like often in the middle ages, it’s not only a bridge, but also a commercial place, that was specialized in gold and jewelry trade, because on a bridge, there was a tax exemption for the merchants. This tradition survived until today, and you have on the bridge a lot of jewelry boutiques, really built on the bridge with the houses of the merchants too. It’s a very fascinating feeling to cross this bridge that is much more than a bridge. And when you look at the Ponte Vecchio from the other bridges, you can admire the architectural masterpiece how this massive construction over the river is really something special. And to really enjoy the place go there very early in the morning or when the weather is bad, because most of the time it’s so tourist-crowded that you can’t even walk normally on the bridge. I had the chance to see it with rainy weather, giving the place a very mysterious atmosphere….