Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) connects the city centre to the district of Oltrarno on the south bank of the river Arno. It is the first bridge ever built in Florence, surely one of the great icons of the city and one of the most famous bridges in the world.
It is best known today for the wooden-shuttered goldsmiths’ shops that line both sides of it, and for the Vasari Corridor that runs over it.
Historical sources indicate that Ponte Vecchio has been in place since at least the twelfth century, and we know that for a long time the Arno River was crossable only at this point.
The old bridge crosses the river at its narrowest point within the city, and a series of bridges—of which this the fifth version—have stood on or around this spot since the days of the ancient Romans.