The Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence during World War II that the escaping Germans did not destroy. Instead, they destroyed the medieval buildings on each side to block the bridges access. In November 1966 Arno burst its banks, as it did many many years ago, but the bridge incredibly was able to withstand a tremendous amount of water and is still standing today!
The Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
The vast Palazzo Pitti – a mainly Renaissance period palace – is one of Florence’s largest architectural monuments. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi the original Palazzo was built for the Pitti family in 1457. Over time the residence was sold to the Medicis becoming the main home of the grand ducal family. The palace was then enlarged and altered to become the vast building it is today by the designer Bartolomeo Ammannati. The Boboli Gardens are situated behind the Pitti Palace and holds a collection of sculptures and some Roman antiques.
This magnificent cathedral stands elevated over the city of Florence with its Renaissance dome soaring through the skyline. This great gothic structure is built on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata (that is more than 13 centuries ago!), whose remains can still be seen in the crypt! Towards the end of the 13th century was when Arnolfo di Cambio began building The Duomo, but it wasn’t until the 15th century that the dome, which dominates the exterior of the cathedral, was added, based on a design by Filippo Brunelleschi.