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Ponte Vecchio

The shop-lined Ponte Vecchio over the River Arno is one of Florence’s most familiar and most romantic landmarks.

No visit to Florence would be complete without crossing the Ponte Vecchio. The oldest bridge over the Arno dates back to 1345 with its origins in the 10th century. It is the only one of the city’s historic bridges to escape destruction during the Second World War, allegedly at the express orders of Hitler himself, who enjoyed its panoramic views of the river, and its picture-postcard arches have survived numerous floods, most recently in 1966.

Today the shops that line the bridge on both sides display jewellery, antiques and souvenirs, but they would once have been occupied by butchers and greengrocers. The goldsmiths arrived at the end of the 16th century after the Grand Duke Cosimo made plans to enhance the prestige of the bridge by building the Vasari Corridor (Corridoio Vasariano) to connect the Pitti Palace, the Medici family residence, with the town hall (Palazzo Vecchio), and forced the butchers to move out because of the unpleasant smell emanating from their produce. A section of the elevated corridor passes through the Uffizi Gallery and houses the museum’s famous collection of self-portraits, although most of its route is now closed to the public.

At the midpoint of the bridge stands a striking bust of Benvenuto Cellini, the famous Florentine goldsmith. Here the viewing balconies offer unrivalled panoramas of the historic buildings that line the banks of the Arno. You may notice padlocks hanging from the railings, left there by couples following the local tradition of attaching a padlock and throwing the key into the river to bond them for life. It’s a romantic idea, but the authorities have now stepped in to curb this damaging trend by imposing a substantial fine on anyone caught locking anything to the structure. Better to stroll across hand-in-hand in the setting sun, admiring the lights as they reflect in the Arno below, and window shop for that perfect piece of jewellery to remind you of your visit to one of the most romantic bridges in all of Italy.

We understand you really want to make the most out of your visit to Ponte Vecchio. So, we've put together a list of some fun things you can do on your visit:

For even more things to do, peruse our Florence things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Ponte Vecchio


Map

Top Ponte Vecchio Hotel Deals

See all 6,205 properties near Ponte Vecchio
Grand Hotel Cavour RM314
Grand Hotel Cavour

Grand Hotel Cavour

Via Del Proconsolo 3, Florence, FI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Duomo, this family-friendly Florence hotel is steps away from Badia Fiorentina and Bargello. Piazza del Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Florence Campo Di Marte Station is 23 minutes.

    Relais Piazza Signoria RM301
    Relais Piazza Signoria

    Relais Piazza Signoria

    Via Vacchereccia 3, Florence, FI
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Duomo, this apartment building is steps away from Via de' Calzaiuoli, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio. Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 22 minutes.

      Hotel Berchielli RM471
      Hotel Berchielli

      Hotel Berchielli

      Lungarno Acciaiuoli 14, Florence, FI
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Duomo, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery. Palazzo Vecchio and Pitti Palace are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 21 minutes.

        Aurum Firenze RM184
        Aurum Firenze

        Aurum Firenze

        Via Nazionale 8/a, Florence
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Via Faenza and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 5-minute walk and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 16 minutes.

          Maxim Axial RM205
          Maxim Axial

          Maxim Axial

          Via Dei Calzaiuoli 11, Florence, FI
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Via de' Calzaiuoli and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 11 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 21 minutes.

            Hotel Spadai RM405
            Hotel Spadai

            Hotel Spadai

            Via dei Martelli, 10, Florence, FI
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Duomo, this spa hotel is steps away from Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and San Lorenzo Church. Piazza del Duomo and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 21 minutes.

              Orto De Medici Hotel RM397
              Orto De Medici Hotel

              Orto De Medici Hotel

              Via San Gallo 30, Florence, FI
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in San Lorenzo, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza San Marco, Statue of David, and Gallery of the Academy of Florence. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 13 minutes by foot and Florence Statuto Station is 17 minutes.

                Hotel Duomo RM335
                Hotel Duomo

                Hotel Duomo

                Piazza Del Duomo 1, Florence, FI
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Florence Baptistery. Bargello and Gallery of the Academy of Florence are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 22 minutes.