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.
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.
Each shop specialises in a different type of jewellery. There is something here for absolutely everyone.
The Ponte Vecchio is the perfect place to window shop.