Florence is divided by the River Arno and both sides are connected by beautiful bridges which afford you the opportunity to admire many aspects of the city. From these bridges, you may enjoy a gelato, catch a live busker band playing, observe a gorgeous colorful sunset, or sit on a ledge to watch the sunrise over the Arno with views of the rolling Tuscan countryside. We have compiled a list of the most important and beautiful bridges in Florence that you need to know about for your trip to Florence.
Ponte Vecchio: This is the most sought out, iconic bridge in Florence. During the day it is buzzing with travelers, musicians, jewelry shops and sometimes even private dinner parties with Ferrari! At night, it is as precious as a sleeping baby with few people on site so you can enjoy the moon lit Arno river and golden lit store fronts. This bridge is very important because Florence was hit hard by bombing during the Second World War and it was ordered that the Ponte Vecchio remain unscathed by the blasts. Unfortunately, other bridges in Florence did not have the fortunate immunity as the Ponte Vecchio. If you decide to pay a visit to the Ponte Vecchio at night, I invite you to pay close attention to the detailed design, emblems, and uniquely made doors that adorn the “old” bridge. We organize guided tours that stop at the Ponte Vecchio- including the Segway Tour in Florence!
Ponte Santa Trinita- One of the two neighboring bridges of the Ponte Vecchio, the Holy Trinity Bridge (Ponte Santa Trinita) is the oldest bridge with an elliptic arch design in the world! You can get a really beautiful view of it from the Ponte Vecchio and at night, with a starry moon-bright night and the Florentine lights lining the Arno, the scene is really something to photograph! It is famous for its design but because it was a bridge apart of the original urban blueprint of Florence during medieval times. It was harmed during various events in history like the historic flooding and the war, but it was reconstructed with grace to be the beautiful bridge you can see today. We organize guided tours that stop at the Ponte Vecchio- including the Bike Tour in Florence!
Ponte Amerigo Vespucci- While it may not be as visually pleasing as The Ponte Vecchio, you may need to know this bridge as a reference point for practical reasons: The U.S. Consulate in Florence. If you are an American citizen traveling in Florence, and we all hope the worst does not happen, you may find yourself in a passport pickle. That pickle may involve loosing your passport and wallet or be victim of a petty crime. The consulate, located near Ponte Amerigo Vespucci, is where you can report document theft and request the documentation necessary to be able to travel across international borders. Other than this practical tip, the bridge was named after the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci where our super continent got her name from as he was the myth buster to Columbus who believed his discovery of the Americas were apart of Asia.
Ponte alle Grazie- Connecting several beautiful quarters of Florence from one bridge alone, Ponte alle Grazie is Florence’s oldest bridge with record length to match! The original bridge was built in the early 1200’s and was rebuilt in the mid 1300’s to be complete with NINE arches! Ponte alle Grazie can be found from Via dei Benci with sneak peeks of the Tuscan countryside in the background from the bridge itself. This is also a common pathway/reference point to San Niccolò, Piazzale Michelangelo, the lungarno bike path in route to the Ponte Vecchio or a minutes walk away from Santa Croce, Via dei Neri and many more centralized, vintage Florentine quarters.
Ponte alla Carraia- Well, If there was a Survivor in Florence it would be Ponte alla Carraia! It’s been damaged by floods, crumbled under the weight of spectators (in 1304, don’t worry not recently), more floods and lastly by the bombing in WWII. Talk about a piece of history that refuses to die. Today, this bridge is best known for being the bridge between the mainstream central of Florence (the train station, the Duomo, etc) and the Oltrarno. What it is best known for, at least among local golosi (Italian for sweet tooth crazed foodies), is Gelateria della Carraia! This is one of the most famous gelateria in Florence for its traditional and contemporary artisan quality. The owner, who after 23 years still scoops out cups and cones of sweet bliss in his own shop, says his favorite gusto is the After Eight chocolate mint gelato. Wr would have to agree. So visit Ponte alla Carraia for the history, views and hopefully- gelato.