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Photographer's Note

Hello Everyone,

I have shown two bridges on the Arno in Florence, the Santa Trinita and the Ponte della Grazie; today it is the most famous of all the bridges, the Ponte Vecchio.

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We were so lucky when we were there, the sun was shining and the wind was still, giving excellent conditions for reflections on the water!

The Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, was built very close to the Roman crossing, and was, until 1218, the only bridge across the Arno in Florence. The current bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that was not destroyed.

When the Medici moved from Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti, they decided they needed a connecting route from the Uffizi to the Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the Arno that would enable them to keep out of contact with the people they ruled. The result was the Corridoio Vasariano, built in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari and which runs above the little goldsmiths' shops on the Ponte Vecchio.

There have been shops on Ponte Vecchio since the 13th century. Initially, there were all types of shops, including butchers and fishmongers and, later, tanners, but in 1593, Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewellers be allowed to have their shops on the bridge in order to improve the well-being of all, including their own as they walked over the bridge.

Today, the goldsmiths shops are still there and are a buzz with eager tourists.

I wish you a happy weekend, Bev :-)

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Additional Photos by Beverley Robinson (Royaldevon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8752 W: 356 N: 20285] (80191)
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