September 7th, 2001 – by: Boston_Babe
The Ponte Vecchio
for the first time can be quite overwhelming. The sheer amount of art and history is mind blowing...the whole city is like one huge museum! One of the world's oldest and most famous being the Uffizi Gallery which houses Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" and "La Primavera" among numerous other well known pieces of art. Another site impossible to miss and the crown jewel of Florentine architecture is the domed cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, or The Duomo. The nearby Campanile and Baptistry are also highlights of the city and open to the public and offer great views of the entire city.
Cutting through the old part of Florence is the Arno River.
The charming Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River
Spanning the river is the beautiful and picturesque Ponte Vecchio unique for it's shops selling mostly jewelry, art and souvenirs. An old tradition for lovers was to attach a padlock to any surface of the Ponte Vecchio and toss the key into the Arno to seal their love for eternity. Many years and thousands of padlocks later, this practice has been halted due to an overabundance of padlocks causing damage, as well as a gaudy look to the bridge, and anyone caught padlocking the bridge will be fined 50 Euros. These days lovers come to the bridge and simply touch the few remaining padlocks to reaffirm their love.
The Ponte Vecchio leads to the Palazzo Pitti (the Medici residence) on the south side of the Arno. The Pitti Palace was bought in the 1500's by the Medici family. It is now home to a great art collection and fully open to the public Behind the Pitti Palace are the beautiful Boboli Gardens which include an interesting collection of sculptures dating back to the sixteenth century.
Florence offers something for everyone whether it be history, art, cuisine or fashion, you will not be disappointed.