The Ponte Vecchio (Florence)

Before my first visit to Florence, I’d heard many people talk about The Ponte Vecchio, but after finding images of it on the Internet I did not know what to expect. Well, seeing it in person, I must say that this medieval stone bridge is truly impressive.

It is wide enough to hold lines of buildings, one on each side. Butchers originally occupied the shops but today jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir sellers are found there. The bridge was constructed over the Arno River, on the narrowest point within Florence.

An interesting fact—it is very possible that the concept of bankruptcy originated here. Back in the day, merchants had to pay to the Bargello (a sort of a lord mayor) to sell their goods. Merchants When a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this practice was called “bancorotto” which means “broken bank”. With no table, the merchant was not able to sell anything.

The rain was following us all day—it was not raining just in Florence, but throughout the entire region. As you can see in the photograph, all this rain caused the river to rise and turned it brown from the dragged mud. However, I have great memories of the few hours I spent in the city. It is definitely a place to revisit with much more time.

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