Ponte Vecchio Overview

Discover the timeless charm of Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. This iconic bridge, dating back to the medieval era, spans the Arno River, and its unique design features rows of charming shops and boutiques. Immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural splendor of Ponte Vecchio, a symbol of Florence's cultural heritage. A must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and travelers seeking to experience the romantic allure of one of the world's most famous bridges.

Embrace the romantic allure of Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. This iconic bridge, dating back to the medieval era, spans the Arno River, connecting the historic districts of the city. Renowned for its charming rows of jewelry shops and boutiques, Ponte Vecchio exudes a unique charm and is a symbol of Florence's rich cultural heritage.

Wander along the bridge's cobbled walkway, and be enchanted by the stunning views of the Arno River and the city's historic buildings. As you explore Ponte Vecchio, you'll be immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of the bustling shops, each displaying exquisite jewelry and artisanal crafts.

A visit to Ponte Vecchio promises a glimpse into Florence's storied past and a chance to experience the timeless beauty of one of the world's most famous bridges. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a lover of architecture, or simply seeking the essence of Florence's romantic spirit, Ponte Vecchio is a must-see destination that captivates all who cross its path.


• Take a stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge that spans the Arno River. 
• Lined with jewelry shops and cafes, it's the perfect place to take in views of the city.
• From unique jewelry to one-of-a-kind artworks, you'll find it all on the Ponte Vecchio to collect souvenirs.
• Take a picture at the Ponte Vecchio and the Florentine skyline.
• Enjoy views of the river and the surrounding cityscape from Ponte Vecchio.
• Once you’ve taken in all that Ponte Vecchio has to offer, be sure to actually walk across the bridge. It’s a great way to get a different perspective on this iconic landmark.
• Head to the nearby Uffizi Gallery to see works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and more.

How To Reach

The nearest airport to reach Ponte Vecchio is Florence Airport (FLR) which is approximately 11 km away. After reaching the airport, you can opt for many ways to reach Ponte Vecchio. You can take a tram, taxi, bus, rideshare, Towncar or you can also go on foot.

The taxi is going to take around 15 mins, while the tram journey will take some 30 mins. You can board a bus from T2 Guidoni which will drop you at Corso Dei Tintori. The bus journey will take approx 40 mins. Lastly, if you opt to go by train, you can catch one from Aeroporto which stops at Unita. It will take you 20 mins to reach Ponte Vecchio through a train.

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Best Time To Visit

May to October is the perfect time to visit Ponte Vicchio. As it is a public bridge, it can be visited at any time of the day. Be wary of the opening and closing time of the shops. If you want to just enjoy walking on the bridge, clicking photographs and admiring the view, you can choose to come right in the morning at around 7 or 8 AM.

If shopping and strolling in the busy lanes is what you want, then visit the bridge between 10 to 7 PM. Whatever the time of day it is, you will always find something to enjoy and appreciate. Be it the architecture, the river, the shops or just the history related to the bridge.

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Other Essential Information

Location- The bridge is located in Florence, Italy

Distance from Nearest Airport- It is 11 km away from Florence Airport (FLR).

Timing- It is open every day, Monday-Sunday, from 10 AM to 7 PM.

Entry fee- There isn’t any fee required.

History Of Ponte Vecchio

The original bridge was built by Romans in 996 AD and was swept away by floods for the first time in the year 1117 only to be reconstructed in year 1333. However, it was again destroyed by floods, that is why it had to be rebuilt again in the year 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi. In 1966, another flood tried to destroy the bridge, however, the bridge stood strongly and only the shops were harmed by the flood.

History knows the bridge by Butchers and tanners working in their shops and causing dirt and waste everywhere around it. Fortunately for us, in 1593, Grand Duke Ferdinand I announced that only goldsmiths and jewelers can work in the area. Hence, the idea of calling it “the golden bridge” hatched.

In 1900, a fountain with a statue of Benvenuto Cellini was built on the forecourt facing the Santa Trinita Bridge as a tribute to the famous sculptor and the most renowned goldsmith. This is the place where it became a custom amongst couples to place a lock on the railing of this statue to show the ‘eternal love’. However, this has been banned by the government lately and a hefty fine is imposed on anyone putting a lock.

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Who Built The Bridge? 

The original bridge was said to be built in 996 AD and it was destroyed two times by floods in history- first in 1117 and then in 1333. The current bridge that we see today was built by Taddeo Gaddi in 1345. It had immediately become famous for its unique architecture and advanced constructions. However, some historians believe that the building of the bridge could be the work of Dominican friars. 

After Medici moved from Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti, they decided they needed a bridging route from the Uffizi to the Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the Arno River, which would allow them to stay out of contact with the people they ruled. Its final outcome was the Corridoio Vasariano, constructed by Giorgio Vasari in 1565 and running above the shops of the little goldsmiths at Ponte Vecchio.

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Things You Didn’t Know About Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio is nicknamed as “the golden bridge” due to all the jewelry shops and goldsmiths hanging around. Let’s know more facts about this bridge that we didn't know existed.

1. The current bridge is not the original bridge: Built in year 996 by the Romans, the original bridge was destroyed by the many floods over the years. The current bridge was rebuilt by Taddeo Gaddi in the year 1395 to withstand floods. Hence, the bridge survived the 1996 floods with only a few damages to the shops.

2. There is an ancient sundial for you to witness in Ponte Vecchio : When the clocks were not invented, Florentines often used this sundial to tell time, located just above a white marble pillar. Tourists usually miss this sight as no one really bothers to look above. There is a small sculpture of a lizard on the pillar if you look closely.

3. Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge that survived World War II in the city of Florence: Legends has it that Adolf Hitler, during his visit in 1939 became a fan of this bridge that he along with some other German officers were convinced to spare this bridge. Credits also go to Gerhard Wolf, the german consul who is known to be the reason the bridge is still standing. All the other bridges in the city and the buildings at both ends of Ponte Vecchio were reduced to rubble.

4. Story of the lockers of love: Padlocks, also known as lockers of lock are small “love locks” that can be found locked on the bridges all over Italy. In Ponte Vecchio, you can find them hanging on the railing of Benvenuto Cellini’s statue, who was a goldsmith and sculptor by nature.

However, the present state is such that the government has removed most of the locks and has imposed a ban and a hefty fine on it. Regardless of that, it still remains a worthy sight to visit. 

5. Shop rents and regaining the funding: The government had to rent out part of the bridge as shops to recover some of the money spent on building the bridge. The early tenants were butchers but they exploited the place and made it very dirty and stinky. Today, it's run by precious stone traders and jewelers.

6. The Mannelli Family Tower: The Ponte Vecchio originally used to have four towers at the bridge. All towers were dismantled during the building of the corridor except one, the Mannelli tower, that belonged to the Mannelli family.

7. The Vasari Corridor: When the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de' Medici, settled into the Pitti residence, he discovered that he had to travel across the bridge to get to work. Not wanting to walk among the crowds (he had several enemies and feared getting assassinated), he had a corridor built by the architect Vasari that would connect his home to his workplace in the Piazza della Signoria. It is nearly a kilometer long, and it is still intact.

Bridge Shops

Besides being famous all over the world for its beautiful and sparkling windows, Ponte Vecchio is also popular for the jewelry shops located on the bridge where you can find all sorts of handmade jewelry, unique as necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, and pins.

After the eviction of fishmongers, rowdy grocers and butchers, these jewel shops can be seen on both sides of the bridge. Apart from these jewelry shops, there are also some art studios and souvenir shops from where you can buy gifts for your friends or just to take stuff back to your home.

Ask the local people or your guide to take you to some famous shops like the Fratelli Piccini corner shop, run by the very same family from the early 1900s. It is a must-visit place if you are on the bridge, although, you do not necessarily have to purchase anything.

It is quite a walkable street, sometimes crowded but definitely worth it. So, soak in all the shops and the iconic view from the bridge.

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Tips For Visiting Ponte Vecchio

Follow these tips if you do not wish to get stuck in an unfortunate incident.

- Be aware of pickpockets as it is a highly crowded public place and make sure to take care of your belongings.

Enjoy the scenic beauty while walking as it is a pretty walkable area and traveling on bike is not suggested.

The place of being a tourist attraction, the vendors will quote an inflated price of their products. You have to bargain with them to get a good deal.

Visit this place early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds and get a picture with fewer people in it.

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Attractions Near Ponte Vecchio:

1. Uffizi Gallery: It is home to the most popular gallery in Florence. It showcases the largest collection of Renaissance art, most of them collected by the Medici family.

2. Loggia dei Lanzi: Built-in the 14th century, it is an arched gallery famous for a number of statues. The most popular statue is of Perseus after he killed Medusa.

3. Mercato Nuovo: Also known as piglet market, is an enclosed hall where tourists can stroll and spend their day shopping for luxury items like silk and gold as well as small stuff like T-shirts or souvenirs.

4. Piazza Della Signoria: It was built in the 13th century and owned by the Uberti family. A huge number of cafes can be found on the sidewalk lane.

5. Palazzo Vecchio: Built in the 14th century, it is known as the city hall of Florence. Tourists can visit this place to admire the fortress-like building with crenelated walls.

6. Orsanmichele: It was originally known as the grain market which is serving as a church today. Its lower floor houses a church whereas the upper floors are turned into a museum. 

7. Piazza Della Repubblica: Experience the Roman era while visiting this place. The places house a lot of cafes, the most famous being Giubbe Rosse.

8. Palazzo Pitti: It is a large palace situated in Oltrarno and it is home to a series of museums, namely- the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Palatine Gallery, the Imperial and Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Costume and Fashion.

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9. Bargello National Museum: Heard of Michaelangelo? This place houses art from famous artists which makes it a must-visit place.

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10. Bardini Garden: With its remarkable green environment, this terraced garden provides a spectacular view of Ponte Vecchio. It offers fountains, medieval walls and a grand staircase for you to climb.

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Ponte Vecchio FAQs

Do people live on the Ponte Vecchio?

It is said that when butchers worked on Ponte Vecchio, they used to live above their houses. In today’s era, it is just a tourist place that houses several jewelry shops and entertainers taking over the street.

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Why is the Ponte Vecchio bridge famous?

Known as the “old bridge”, it is famous for a number of things. It is the only bridge that survived World War II in Florence, it also withstood the flood of 1966, it is also famous for the many jewelry shops it houses that sells amazing pieces and antique sets.

How old is the Ponte Vecchio?

The original bridge dates back to 966 AD. However, today’s Ponte Vecchio was built in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi.

What is Ponte Vecchio made of?

It is a segmental arch bridge that is built over the Arno river. It is made up of stone and it is located at the place where the Romans built the first-ever bridge in Florence.

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How tall is the Ponte Vecchio?

The bridge comprises three segmental arches: two side arches spanning 27 meters each, and one main central arch spanning 30 meters above the Arno river and rising 4.4 meters.

Can you walk across the Ponte Vecchio?

Yes, you can stroll across the Ponte Vecchio bridge. It houses shops on both of its sides where you can shop. You can also just keep walking and enjoy the glorious view.

What type of bridge is Ponte Vecchio?

It is a closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge made up of medieval stone which is located over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy.

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Who built the Ponte Vecchio?

Ponte Vecchio bridge that we see today is said to be built by Taddeo Gaddi in 1345 (As claimed by Art Historian Giorgio Vasari). However, there is no evidence to back this up. Therefore, the name Neri di Fioravanti also comes up when the question of who built Ponte Vecchio arises.

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