The Bridge of Bling

It seems that the beautiful and famous daughter of Rome (Florence) likes bling. Not in the Kardashian style but more like that of a true Renaissance princess with a Medici father who felt that shopkeepers who inhabited the Old Bridge below his secret corridor were a motley crew  with habits not befitting a Grand Duke. So in 1565 Cosimo de’ Medici ordered the closure of the smelly butchers’ shops then on the PonteVecchio (Old Bridge) and arranged for the shops to be taken over by several gold merchants. Now Cosimo’s private passageway across the Arno from his palazzo (Pitti Palace) to his offices (now the Uffizi Gallery) could be more pleasant and secure.

Today the Ponte Vecchio is a landmark of Florence and the jewelry shops that line the bridge are world famous. A Renaissance marketplace with  hand crafted  gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, cameos, pearls and precious stones displayed in an evocative setting make a walk along the Ponte Vecchio across the Arno River a must do when in Florence where you can almost hear the footsteps of the Medici on the elevated walkway that separated them from the rest of the world.

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