The Ponte Vecchio (old bridge)is one of the symbols of Florence. It crosses the river Arno in its narrowest point.
The first construction dates back to the roman age, but many times it was damaged by floods of the river: in 1080 a bridge in wood existed, while the one made of stone of 1170 was swept away from the flood of 1333, one of most violent of all the times. The bridge was reconstructed in 1345, with the passage flanked from two rows of craftsmen's shops.
In the 1565 the architect Giorgio Vasari built for Cosimo I the “vasariano corridor”, in order to link the political and administrative center of Palazzo Vecchio with the private dwelling of the Medici, Palazzo Pitti. The banked corridor, long approximately a kilometer, starts from Palazzo Vecchio, passes through the Gallery of the Uffizi and over the shops of the east side of the bridge and continues on the left river until Palazzo Pitti. The shops on the bridge, occupied initially from fishmongers, butchers and tanners, then were occupied by goldsmiths and jewellers in 1593, for order of Ferdinando I, tha did not appreciate a not noble and stinking commerce under the windows of the Corridor.
At the center of the bridge the shops are interrupted by two panoramic terraces.