- Type: Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Much like London's Tower Bridge, Ponte Vecchio was built to replace an earlier bridge. Once dominated by butchers and bakers, the original bridge was washed away during a flood in the early 14th century. When the new Ponte Vecchio was completed, it too was home to local food stores until grand Duke Ferdinand I of the Medici family decided to designate this unadorned bridge the epicenter of the city's gold and jewel trade. It has maintained this identity ever since.
The Ponte Vecchio traverses the Arno River near central Florence. Throughout its history, it has survived floods and even attacks during World War II, making it one of the oldest bridges in Italy to span the Arno. Today, it is one of the most popular sites in the city, which means you should be prepared for heavy crowds and high prices. If you're looking for river views without fighting the tour groups, try the nearby Ponte Santa Trinita instead.