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Florence Italy travel guide

Ponte Vecchio, the old bridge of Florence

The first bridge crossing the river Arno was built during the Roman Empire. During the centuries Florence was often flooded because of heavy rain and so the bridge was often destroyed and than rebuilt. During Middle Age the bridge was destroyed in 1177 by an overflowing and a temporary woody trestle bridge was built near the place where the old one was built. Only in 1294 AD the bridge was consolidated. It was supported by five arches and a lot of shops were built overhanging the river. It was the only one bridge of the city until 1220 AD when the “ Carraia Bridge” was built near the old one. The first bridge was so named “OLD BRIDGE” in italian language "Ponte Vecchio" while the newest was called “The New Bridge”. Other two bridges were built in that period as trading and commerce needed. A special office “ Opus Pontis ” was created by the Lordship of Florence in 1200 to control the bridge. Unfortunately in 1333 AD Florence was flooded again by the river Arno. All the bridges were destroyed. Patiently Florence began to rebuild the bridges and the Old one was finished in 1350 AD. Only three smart and slim arches supported the new bridge, projected to let the water flow freely during heavy rain periods. Over the bridge many shops were built and in 1593 AD Florentine goldsmiths were allowed to establish there. That was the bridge we can see today, the oldest, the most beautiful one all around the world.

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