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Ponte Vecchio

The most ancient bridge in Florence, one of its most beautiful symbols

As the name of the Ponte Vecchio di Firenze already suggests, it is the oldest of the bridges in the city and for a long time it was the only one that allowed people to cross the river Arno.

 

A brief history

It is thought that a bridge in its current position already existed around the year 1000, while its current layout dates back to 1345, when the Ponte Vecchio was rebuilt following a terrible flood.

 

In 1442 the bridge became a meat market. For reasons of hygiene, the inhabitants of the city requested the butchers to move to the bridge, so they could throw their meat remains directly into the Arno. The butchers were then forced to leave again just before the 17th century with the construction of the Vasari Corridor. The Medici family preferred the goldsmiths’ workshops to occupy the bridge, which were considered more appropriate and dignified, given their frequent passing over the Ponte Vecchio.

The Vasari Corridor

In fact, as from 1565 a long corridor ran over the bridge which took the Grand Dukes from Palazzo Pitti, a new, sumptuous residence, to Palazzo Vecchio, the office building. The Corridor ran through the houses, above the Church of St. Felicity, on the Ponte Vecchio, culminating in the bright Uffizi Gallery ending at Palazzo Vecchio. The construction, designed for the wedding of Francis, the eldest son of the Grand Duke Cosimo de’Medici, had also been built for defensive purposes, in order to protect the Grand Dukes from possible dangers and threats along the city streets. The planning and management of the works was entrusted to the architect and artist Giorgio Vasari, whom the Vasari Corridor was named after. Soon enough, both for the love of art and in order to make the journey between the “residence” and the “offices” more pleasant, the Vasari Corridor and the Uffizi Gallery were gradually filled with works of art, statues and paintings by the Grand Dukes. The ceilings of the Uffizi Gallery were frescoed in a “grotesque” style. Among the artists that took part in the creation of the grotesque works of art, there was also the architect Alessandro Pieroni.

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Where are our apartments situated?

  • In the 19th century Poggio Imperiale Building overlooking Piazzale Porta Romana in front of the Boboli Gardens and the Medieval city walls
  • In the area above Porta Romana
  • In the San Frediano area, close to Lungarno
  • In the area close to the Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross)
  • In the area near the Duomo (Cathedral)
  • In the area near the Church of Santa Maria Novella
  • In the countryside above Poggio Imperiale, in the Pozzolatico area