Of course no visit to Florence would be complete without walking across the Ponte Vecchio – the Old Bridge – across the Arno River.
There have been shops here since the 13th century including butchers, fishmongers and tanners. You can imagine the pong! A happy solution: King Ferdinand 1 decreed in 1593 that only goldsmiths and jewellers’ shops would be allowed on the bridge.
During World War II it was the only bridge not destroyed by the fleeing Germans. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each side. A tragedy!
Very close to the Ponte Vecchio is the Galileo Museum. There is some material of Galileo’s there, but it houses a lot of 16th & 17th instruments used in many other disciplines beside astronomy.
The ornate fashioning of some of these instruments in brass and wood is a joy to behold. The Italian way of doing things didn’t include ‘plain’…
History really is on every cobblestone and corner in this beautiful country. Ciao for now!