|The elevated Vezzari Corridor|
THE VEZZARI CORRIDOR - The Vasari Corridor is an elevated enclosed passageway in Florence, central Italy, which connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. It runs along one bank of the Arno River. It is closed to the public.
You can walk underneath the corridor along a stone pathway lined by the arches that support the corridor.
|The Ponte Vecchio Bridge from the River Arno|
|View of the Arno river from one side of the Ponte Vecchio bridge|
IN DAN BROWN'S BOOK "INFERNO" - This corridor was described in a scene from Dan Brown's fictional thriller "Inferno" where Robert Langdon broke onto the bridge with another person and used to ti escape from pursuers.
THE PONTE VECCHIO BRIDGE - The Ponte Vecchio, meaning "Old Bridge" is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common.
There is one spot on the bridge that offers great views of the Arno River, so we stopped and took some pictures.
|Shops on Ponte Vecchio bridge|
During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each side. On November 4, 1966, the bridge miraculously withstood the tremendous weight of water and silt when the Arno once again burst its banks.
FULL OF SHOPS (That Changed Over Time) -
This wide stone bridge actually supports stores and there are many shops on it. In fact, shops have operated on the bridge since the 1200s when the first bridge was built. However, initially the shops included butchers, fish sellers, and tanners - all of whose "industrial waste" caused an awful stink in the area. So, in 1593, Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewelers be allowed to have their shops on the bridge in order to improve the well-being of all, including their own as they walked over the bridge.Today it's filled with jewelers and goldsmiths.
|The Ponte Santa Trinita Bridge from other side of Ponte Vecchio bridge|
REBUILDING MANY, MANY BROKEN BRIDGES - 1) The original wooden bridge of 1252 was swept away in a flood in 1259.
2) A stone bridge was then built only to be destroyed in a flood in 1333.
3) Another bridge of five arches was built by Taddeo Gaddi and that was destroyed in the flood of 1557!
4) A 4th bridge was constructed by the Florentine architect Bartolomeo Ammannati from 1567 to 1569.
That bridge was destroyed by retreating German troops in August 1944.
5) Finally, the bridge that stands today was reconstructed in 1958 with original stones raised from the Arno.
NEXT: VISITING THE PALAZZO CORSI