Posted by: debrakolkka | November 27, 2010

Jewels on the Ponte Vecchio

the southern end of the Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence.  It was built in 1345 on the narrowest part of the Arno river, on the site of a pre-existing crossing, by Neri di Fioravante.  It was spared from bombing in WWII, survived the floods of 1966 and is one of the symbols of the city.

Butchers and tanners established themselves on the bridge almost as soon as it was built.  Luckily for us, in the 16th century, Cosimo I suggested they vacate the premises and allowed jewellers to take their place.  The bridge then began to assume the appearance we see today with pretty jewellery shops along both sides, with a little gap in the middle from where we can admire the view of the city on either side of the river.

approaching the bridge

I’m sure it is possible to buy jewellery at cheaper prices elsewhere, but what could be better than crowing to your friends that you bought that little trinket on the Ponte Vecchio.

red coral jewellery

Each shop specialises in a different type of jewellery.  There is something here for absolutely everyone.

more lovely coral

lapis lazuli

pearls anyone?

I quite like these - if anyone is interested

and Liz likes these

lovely antique jewellery

a very pretty window

The Ponte Vecchio is the perfect place to window shop.


Responses

  1. Beautiful Florence ! I am loving your travels, reminds me of places I have visited and quite a few I haven’t :)

  2. One of the places I’d only heard about and read about in books. Thanks for sharing the photos, Debra, this looks like a wonderful place to stroll away an afternoon..

  3. Beautiful Florence – it’s a while since I’ve been there.. must return! Love those pink earrings.

  4. Ooooo! I had the best dish of wild boar and polenta just around the corner from there!
    I think I need to go back as I obviously didn’t see those dangly antique earrings and they are just want my ears need.

  5. Oh, I’d heard of this bridge of course and almost forgotten about it until now. How wonderful to be able to buy & crow about it there huh. I’d love to see it, another for the Bucket List :)

  6. I remember those jewelry shops and they’re just amazing! I’d love to own a pair of coral earrings. Also admired the unusual pair of dangling earrings in the last photo. The stroll along the Ponte Vecchio bridge was one of the most enjoyable strolls I recalled, especially as the sun started to set and all the shops lit up like sparkling jewels in the night. Thanks for bringing back such happy memories for me.

  7. Sigh!! oh to be back there, in any weather! The shops are indeed lovely, though I love the papermakers ;-)

  8. We have a lovely photo of Liz & our youngest daughter (then a teenager) in the middle of the bridge. We never thought that, more than 20 years later, the photo would be in our house overlooking Ponte a Serraglio. Love your blog, it keeps us in touch while we’re not at home (which is far too often).

    • Thank you for your comments. I love the bridge, and walk over it at least once every time I go to Florence. Where is your house?
      Deb

      • The pink farmhouse on the hill below Granaiola.

  9. I will be back in Ponte a Serraglio in February – perhaps we will catch up at the bar.

    • I’m sure we will at some point, but unfortunately it’s unlikely to be February.

      • I will be there until mid May next year.

  10. Hopefully April then.

  11. Window shop being the operative word! How lovely! I love the earrings you love. They remind me of the earrings at Kellies Antiques! I enjoy your blog so much, keep up the wonderful posts and photos.

  12. [...] here for more of fabulous Florence and here for a look at the jewels on the [...]


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