EN
Languages
USD
Top currencies
All currencies
Help
Within the United States +1-833-896-0077 English: 24/7
Global Access Number +1-646-362-8606 English: 24/7
App
Download the App for Free

Travel the World with Trip

Historical Things You Might Not Know about Ponte Vecchio

Historical Things You Might Not Know about Ponte Vecchio

TripBlog
Dec 5, 2019290

Welcome to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. We are going to list some of the facts about Ponte Vecchio Florence to pique your interest and make your visit to it more fruitful and fun experience. We will also tell you where and what to do at the Ponte Vecchio to make sure you enjoy your visit. This beautiful gem of a bridge not found anywhere else in the world!

Table of Contents

Ponte Vecchio bare facts
A bit on Florence
The Risanamento Project of yore:
The irreplaceable Arno:
Why have only goldsmith shops remained?
Why Adolf Hitler never destroyed Ponte Vecchio?
The magic numbers behind the Ponte Vecchio:
Did you know that in 1966 the bridge said QED or Quad Ed Demonstrandum to the harmonics rule?
Were you aware that the terms architect, bankrupt, and several legal theories originated from here?
How the Arno became a frontline defence structure of Florence:
Ponte Vecchio’s sundial
Shopping on Ponto Vecchio
Best time to visit Ponte Vecchio
Transportation to Ponte Vecchio
By Bus
By train
By Light Rail
By Taxi
On foot
Explore your food options near Ponto Vecchio
Historical Things You Might Not Know about Ponte Vecchio

All about Ponte Vecchio:

The Ponte Vecchio is the fifth bridge rebuilt in 1350 at the spot where it crosses the Arno river at its narrowest point and flows within the city. It has been existent since the times of the Romans. So, what is the tale behind it? The floods of 1333 washed the bridge away, and the present bridge with goldsmith shops lining it built instead. It is also known for the Medicci family aerial Vasari Corridor walkway of 1561 running directly over it. Now, why did they need such a corridor? In those days, the noblemen avoided the general public for fear of assassination. Hence, the private corridor walkway was built to keep them safe as they moved between the Palazzo Pitti and their residence in Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio bare facts

The bridge of Ponte Vecchio is 105 ft wide and 276 ft long with three main segmental arches spanning 98 ft each with the other two segments having a span of 89 ft. The rise of the parts is 3.5 m at the sides and 4.4m in the middle with a 5:1 span-rise ratio. It was the only bridge in existence well into 1218 which was built in stone and replaced the wooden deck of 1117’s floods. The 1333 waves spared only the central piers and historians. As it is not sure whether Neri di Fioravanti, Giovanni da Campi the architect and Dominican friar of Santa Vvella’s Ponte Alla Carraia or Taddeo Gaddi the student of master artist and craftsman Giotto built the Ponte Vecchio.

Historical Things You Might Not Know about Ponte Vecchio

Did you know the word architect seems to derive first around these times? It is just one bit of the quirky tales of Ponte Vecchio. Let us explore the rest.

A bit on Florence

Let's get started with a quick introduction to modern-day Firenze as the Italians call Florence. Present-day Florence and tourism are integral with roughly 13-million tourists per annum. Besides tourism industries like leather, rubber, ready-foods, furniture, and chemicals add to its economy. Florence has the River Arno, which flows through its center and is also known as the "renaissance cradle." It is with a wealth of unmatched exhibits of artistic heritage including the Ponte Vecchio and the world’s most famous Mona Lisa painting. The Notable Florentine sons include Machiavelli, Lorenzo Medici, Michelangelo, Donatello, Dante, Galileo, and Raphael. The revived and globally famous Vespa scooters are from the Firenze Prato-Pistoia industrial district. Besides the best paintings and art pieces are to be found in Florence with its many museums, delectable food outlets, many shops and heritage places to visit and the best of Mediterranean weather to experience.

Historical Things You Might Not Know about Ponte Vecchio

The Risanamento Project of yore:

That’s not all! The nineteenth-century urban Risanamento renewal project affected the growth of Ponte Vecchio ’s popularity and Florence’s modernization by adding many squares, boulevards, public places. The Ponte Vecchio which also means the ‘Old Bridge’ on the Arno conjoins the Firenze City Centre to the Oltarno district on the south Arno banks. One of the exceptional bridges in the world with a quirky history. The iconic Ponte Vecchio Bridge spans the narrowest portion of the Arno as it moves within the city. The two neighbouring bridges of Ponte alle Grazie and the Ponte Santa Trinita complete the trio.

Do you see the beginning of a lot of strange and different story versions? Yes, Italians fixate with trios even in their cathedrals, museum-trips or heritage walks where you always do a trio of the sights.

The irreplaceable Arno:

Did you know the river Arno or Flume Arno formed by the rivers Era, Elsa, Sieve, and Pesa? As it flows from its source in the Apennines of Tuscany from Monte Falterona to the Liqurian Sea over a total distance of 240 km? The river has always been tied to human civilization and even bears the stamp of the master Michel Angelo himself who designed the flood control works. The flash floods of 1966 did cause a lot of damage to Ponte Vecchio and Florence. It is one European river where navigation is almost absent. The very course of the river divides into three sections, namely the upper lake basin region or Casentino, the middle valley or Valdarno and finally the lower delta. Just beyond Florence and past the Golfolina Gorge, Pisa, and Empoli to slowly flow into the sea.

Why have only goldsmith shops remained?

Duke Ferdinand-I in 1593 had the tanners, butchers and such removed from the Ponte Vecchio area for producing foul-smelling garbage. The Medicci family who used the Vasari corridor were also troubled about the stench and advised the Duke to act wisely. The goldsmiths were allowed to stay at Ponte Vecchio Florence and form a part of the alive civic-minded and strange Ponte Vecchio history. Did you know that this is the only bridge that was not destroyed by WW-II? There is a story to that angle too.

Why Adolf Hitler never destroyed Ponte Vecchio?

The gallery to the west of the Vasari Corridor was carved out for the Führer by Benito Mussolini. By removing the three original center windows of Ponte Vecchio bridge forms a terrace for Adolf Hitler to view the beauty of Florence on 9th of May 1938. Hitler liked what he saw and ordered the retreating German army in 1944 not to harm the bridge when trying to stop the advance of the allied forces. They tore down the buildings on either side of the bridge instead! The man behind this was Gerhard Wolf, the serving consul in Florence who declared an honorary citizen of Florence in 1955 and 2007 a marble plaque dedicated to him at Ponte Vecchio.

The magic numbers behind the Ponte Vecchio:

Most people see the Ponte Vecchio bridge and don’t marvel at the exact use of harmonics, geometry, and mathematics used in it. The Platonic Theory praises the use of 1:2:4 as a sound progression of numbers. The measurements of the bridge follow this rule in the lateral proportions, which also correspond to the musical octave, the Dominican’s use of mystical orders of numbers and even the postulates of Pythagoras! Ah, the virtues of names and their harmony in nature!

Did you know that in 1966 the bridge said QED or Quad Ed Demonstrandum to the harmonics rule?

Here is what happened. During the floods, the turbulent Arno looked like it would wash everything away again. A group of museum workers formed a human chain to recover the paintings that hung in the Vasari Corridor’s art gallery. From their recounting, the tale of the Ponte Vecchio bridge was humming. It comes with the vibrational impact of the debris from the river. Its perfect harmony helped it resonate, and though scary, the humming bridge proved its flexibility and harmonics to hold on while the valuable paintings saved.

Were you aware that the terms architect, bankrupt, and several legal theories originated from here?

Yes, they did! The term bankrupt can be traced to the words banco and rotto and the practice of breaking the merchant's table or banco by the debt collecting solders or rotto prevalent in Ponte Vecchio. The term architect too can be traced to the Ponte Vecchio's master craftsman of the 4th century Benvenuto Cellini who designed the bridge with arches very precisely. In 1900 the famed sculptor Raffaello Romanelli was commissioned by the goldsmiths to make Cellini's bust. The bust exists till date atop the fountain in the center of the bridge’s eastern side. In honour of the Cellini monument of love, eternal lovers today place locks and throw away the keys to pledge their love at this same monument.

How the Arno became a frontline defence structure of Florence:

Though Florence had fortified walls, the river at Ponte Vecchio was a source of attacks by invaders. Four towers were built to keep watch over the river. The Manelli Tower on the southern side was strategic and fortified and is the only one that has survived the travails of time. So great was the importance of the tower that the Medicci family who built their Vasari Corridor aligned a work-around of the tower at the southeast end of Ponte Vecchio Florence. The river below is a beautiful ride in the tiny old boats recently renovated by the Renaiolis.

Historical Things You Might Not Know about Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio’s sundial

Near the middle of the bridge of Ponte Vecchio is the tiny square with an old sundial sitting atop a shop roof. It is a make of a cup of white marble and thin columns forming the hours with the assembly supported on a small marble pillar. Till date, the gnomon casts its shadow on the cup and marks time. The stone plaque beside it from 1933, commemorates the rebuilding of the bridge. The quaint present-day picture presents have been due to development by the traders over the ages. Wherein the wooden bridge stori was also expanded upon and superstructures of the current built over the generations on the existing older shops.

Shopping on Ponto Vecchio

Love shopping and want to carry home a keepsake of your Firenze visit to the Ponte Vecchio? Here are some ideas for the Florentine souvenirs. Try the Montelupo pottery from the middle ages, leather gloves, gold jewellery, chocolates, Bemer’s shoes, GABS leather bags, specially made craft beers, and liqueurs, scents, and perfumes typical to Italy and soap bars carrying the native aromas of natural ingredients from Florence. Remember the skilled craftsmanship in Italy which you have seen all over Florence and shop prudently. Bargaining hard is a good idea.

Best time to visit Ponte Vecchio

2 to 3 days you will need at least to explore Florence though a day is sufficient to explore Ponte Vecchio and its closeby landmarks. The best time to beat the crowds at the Ponte Vecchio is the early morning between 8:30 a.m., and night after 9 p.m. The shops begin their day by 9 am though the Ponte Vecchio itself works through the week 10 am to 7 pm with a Sunday holiday.

Historical Things You Might Not Know about Ponte Vecchio

Transportation to Ponte Vecchio

You have a range of options while travelling in Florence to get to Ponte Vecchio. The Centro of Firenze as the Italians call Florence connected by metro trains, the red trams, ATAF city buses, and airport buses. If you want to take a bus, choose the ATAF’s fleet of 355 city buses originating from the stops at the Centro. The train station of Santa Maria Novella is Florence’s main terminal.

By Bus

Melegnano, Palazzuolo, Ognissanti, Ponte Vespucci and Autostazione Sita are the bus stations closest to the Ponte Vecchio. Looking for the bus route numbers that can get you to a station close to Ponte Vecchio? Buses with route numbers Bus: #23, #365 A, #C2, #371 A, #302 A, and the #SI 330 all cover stations close to the Ponte Vecchio.

Bus tickets on the ATAF’s 355 buses and airport shuttles are contactless and accept coins, 1,5,10 or 20 USD bills, credit cards, etc. at the ticket kiosks. Airport and the central Santa Maria Novella train station connects well with half-hourly shuttle buses from morning 6 am to 11:30 pm. A single way ticket would cost 6 Euros and a return ticket 10 Euros.

By train

Use the R-line.

By Light Rail

Use either the T1 or T2 lines.

By Taxi

If you need to get from Florence’s Peretola Airport to the City Center by taxi or make a return trip will charge a fixed rate of 20 Euros one-way with a 1 Euro/baggage-piece up to a maximum of 5 Euros. If you need to use the airport shuttle buses look for the Volian buses outside the airport or at the Centro station.

On foot

You can also choose to walk, which takes you around 30 minutes from end to end of Florence one-way and walking briskly. Rental bicycles can also help you explore Ponte Vecchio and provide you with more flexibility. Internationally, buses are the most preferred because they are clean, frequent, punctual, and safe to travel besides being the least expensive when compared to the Metro, Light rail, or taxi services.

Explore your food options near Ponto Vecchio

If you do want to grab a quick bite, try the small Mangiapizza street style pizzeria located close to the alley leading to Uffizi Gallery just a bit off the Ponte Vecchio. Sip their Italian beers and wines as you gorge on the ciabatta with an array of toppings. Their truffles and pizzas are gorgeous and start from just 6 Euros. Their address is 24/26r, via Lambertesca.

Typical Italian food has flavour and variety. Go ahead and try all the types of Firenze Italian food be it the Bottarga smoked eggs, Margherita of Naples, Lasagna or pasta, Fiorentina steaks, ragu, and béchamel sauces, Polenta, Ossobuco, Risotto, and many more exotic dishes. Don’t forget to try their desserts too! Firenze’s top places to eat are Trattoria Camillo, Il Magazzino, Zeb Gastronomia, Ristorante del Fagioli, Osteria Antica Mescita San Niccolò, Vini e Vecchi Sapori, Trattoria Sergio Gozzi, L’Osteria de L’Ortolano, Coquinarius. You must choose where and what to eat and try out and since you will be travelling Firenze it pays to know the names of the best and not-so-expensive restaurants and food options.

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
Like

Related Flights

Florence
MiamiFlorence
Jan 28, 2020-Feb 2, 2020
Round trip

FromUSD88.78

Florence
MiamiFlorence
Jan 28, 2020-Feb 2, 2020
Round trip

FromUSD93.44

Florence
MiamiFlorence
Jan 28, 2020-Feb 2, 2020
Round trip

FromUSD97.09

Florence
MiamiFlorence
Jan 28, 2020-Feb 2, 2020
Round trip

FromUSD97.09