The History of the Ponte Vecchio

by Tours of Tuscany
The History of the Ponte Vecchio

The History of the Ponte Vecchio

There are a wide variety of great landmarks and attractions for you to see in the wonderful region of Tuscany. Along with the many great traditional foods, delicious wines, art museums, and more; we’re sure that you’ll never have a dull moment during your stay here.

If you want to see some of the stunning sites for yourself, be sure to pay a visit to Ponte Vecchio – one of the most famous historic landmarks in the city of Florence.

Ponte Vecchio – a bridge with a long history

While you’re likely to find a number of things to see and do in this part of Tuscany, none can deny that a trip to the world-famous bridge is well worth a visit. It’s the oldest crossing on the Arno river, and has stood in the same position ever since it had to be rebuilt because of recurring floods in 1345.

Ponte Vecchio is not just known for its rich history though, as there are a number of great jewelry and souvenir shops along the side of the bridge – perfect for those looking for a great gift for a friend or a keepsake to help them remember their time in this part of Italy.

While the bridge we know and love today is so iconic, it hasn’t always looked this way, as it’s gone through quite a bit of construction work and repairs as it’s been damaged over time.

When was it built?

The Ponte Vecchio was rebuilt in 1345, but you may be interested to hear when it was first constructed.

While there is no exact date, we do have some idea of when it was made; there may be no evidence of when the building work actually began, but the bridge was mentioned in a document dating back as early as 996. At this time, the superstructure was made of wood and the Roman piers of the bridge were stone.

How many times did the bridge have to be rebuilt?

The first record of the Ponte Vecchio being destroyed is during floods in 1117. It only lasted up until 1333, when the structure was once again swept away by harsh waves.

When it was reconstructed in 1345, it was built with the three arches that make it so iconic today – but what’s interesting about this is that, while credited to Taddeo Gaddi, modern historians believe that Neri di Fioravanti may have worked on the reconstruction, too.

The bridge didn’t always have jewelers and souvenir shops

Once upon a time, only butchers were allowed to conduct business in the buildings along the side of the bridge, allowing them to dispose of their waste away from the center of the town. In 1593, jewelers and goldsmiths instead moved into the shops, as order by Ferdinand I, who wanted to clean up and rejuvenate the area.

Email Us