In Florence, there is a strange stone bridge; the Ponte Vecchio, also known as the Old Bridge, is considered the oldest stone bridge in Europe. The bridge first appeared in historical documents in 996; it was later swept away by floodwaters and was rebuilt as a stone bridge spanning the Arno River.
As far back as Etruscan times, there is a bridge at the narrowest point of the Arno River. During Roman rule, the Cassia Highway, which connected Rome with the major northern cities, passed through the bridge. In the centuries that followed, although the wooden parts of the bridge were frequently destroyed after floods, it remained the only place in the city that crossed the Arno River.
The current Ponte Vecchio was built in 1345 and has become the world's oldest segmented stone arch bridge. Along the top of the bridge is a Corridoio Vasariano, elevated above the shops, connecting the Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio on each side of the Arno River.
Description of the Ponte Vecchio Size
The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone arch bridge in Florence, Italy, spanning the Arno River. There are still shops on the bridge today. The shops on the bridge were originally butcher shops, but now they are mostly jewelry shops and souvenir shops. These commercial sales are subject to approval by Bargello (police agency). If you want to buy gold jewelry, Ponte is the right place. There are many medieval-style watches and gold jewelry stores on both sides of the bridge. There is a statue of the famous goldsmith Benovo Cellini from more than 100 years ago on the bridge.
the Ponte Vecchio Dimensions
The Ponte Vecchio is 100 meters (276 feet) long and 32 meters (105 feet) wide. The bridge can be divided into three parts, the central arch spans 30 meters (98 feet), and the two side arches are 27 meters (88 feet). The bridge arches range from 3.5 to 4.4 meters (11.5 feet to 14.5 feet) high, with a rise of 5:1. The main arch is 4.4 meters in height, and the two side arches have a height of about 3.5 meters.
|Total Length||100 m (276 ft)|
|Width||32 m (105 ft)|
|Longest Span||30 m (98 ft)|
|Clearance Below||4.4 m (14.5 ft)|
Shops on the Ponte Vecchio
Shops first appeared on the original bridge in the 13th century. Most of the shopkeepers were fishmongers and butchers who regarded the river as the best place to dump their rubbish; then came the tanners who soaked the hides in the river water and turned them into leather. Later, the space in the center of the bridge was completely opened to the people in business, allowing trash to be dumped directly into the water. By 1593, Grand Duke Ferdinando had rented out the original shop for double the price to about 50 jewelers, and goldsmiths, the descendants of most of them still do business in the beautiful wooden shutter shop on the bridge.
The Medici family, mainly engaged in banking, ruled Florence for three centuries. Because the Arno River separated their residence and office, the Ponte Vecchio became an important link between the two sides. The stench of carrion can drift into the upper floors through the small windows. So they banned butchers and shoemakers from operating on the bridge, leaving only goldsmiths and jewelers on the bridge.
Ponte Vecchio is Italy's oldest surviving stone-built closed spandrel arc arch bridge. During World War II, the Germans destroyed all the bridges in Florence except the Ponte Vecchio. Nowadays, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Florence; the Holy Trinity Bridge and the Pontealle Grazie are also located near the Old Bridge. Artists also noticed the bridge's indescribable charm. Over time, countless painters have captured the bridge in their photographs. The Old Bridge is the highlight of a trip to Florence that no one should miss. A shopping trip through a row of shops in the evening lights must be an unforgettable experience.