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Views 1611 at January – 31 – 2013
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Nikon D300 Nikon 70/300
Properties inscribed on the World Monuments Fund Watch
Properties inscribed on the Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities, Superintendence for the Architectural, the Landscape, the Historical Heritage. Artistic and Ethno-Anthropological of Italy
HDR processed in Photomatix Pro 3.1.3 with 5 RAW image -2 -1 0 +1 +2 , then processed using CS4 – Tripod Manfrotto 055XB + 468MG Ball Head
Perhaps better than any other monument in Italy, the Ponte Vecchio or “Old Bridge” exemplifies the ‘progress’ of humankind through the centuries
Built in ancient times by the Etruscans, the bridge has weathered many storms – and storming by invading legions. Because of its location over the widest part of the Arno River, the bridge has been rebuilt and restored many times throughout its long history. And it has changed with the times.
Originally the bridge was built to allow access over the Arno. Slowly, with so much traffic going over it, a few enterprising parties decided to set up shop on the bridge itself. As that early traffic consisted primarily of traveling soldiers, it isn’t surprising that the first merchants to set up shop were blacksmiths, butchers, and tanners.
During the Middle Ages, Florence was hit hard by the Plague. Half of Florence was wiped out the by the Black Death, and the remaining populace became suspicious of their old ways of living.
It was also around this time that the powerful Medici family moved into Florence. They brought with them vast wealth and an appreciation for the finer things in life. Seeing those older merchants using the Arno River as their own personal sewer system didn’t exactly fit in with their ideas for the beautification of Florence. Soon the blacksmiths, butchers, and tanners were replaced with goldsmiths and artists, and the number of shops increased tremendously.
Between 1565 and 1800, an upper level was added, as was a back row of shops. All this increased trade not only helped Florence grow, but the new shops also gave the bridge structure and strength.
During World War II, the Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by Germans during their retreat of August 4, 1944, unlike all other bridges in Florence. This was allegedly because of an express order by Hitler. Access to Ponte Vecchio was, however, obstructed by the destruction of the buildings at both ends, which have since been rebuilt using a combination of original and modern design., and in 1966, when a massive flood wiped out the shops on the bridge, the bridge itself was strong enough to withstand the roaring waters.
The Ponte Vecchio embodies the progress of humanity because it has come from carrying soldiers to battle, to open commerce, to a vast gathering place for peoples from all walks of life.
On Ponte Vecchio were shot almost three films: in 1946 Roberto Rossellini has shot some scenes of the movie “Paisà”,in 1975 Alberto Lattuada shot some scenes in the movie “Stay as you are”, with Marcello Mastroianni and Nastassja Kinski and in 2001 Ridley Scott has shot some scenes of the movie "Hannibal