It is possible to document the fist bridge around 966 and until 1218 it was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence.
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The current bridge was reconstructed after a flood in 1345. Even if the artist and chronalist Giorgio Vasari attibuted the construction of Ponte Vecchio to Taddeo Gaddi, it is more likely that the desing is to be credited to Dominican friars of Santa Maria Novella. The evidence is in the proportions, harmony and use of numbers in the plan of the bridge.
In 1565 was added the Corridoio Vasariano which runs above the shops of the bridge, it was the Medici connection route from Uffizi to Palazzo Pitti.
All kinds of shops have been on Ponte Vecchio until Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewellers were allowed on the bridge.
The beauty of the view of Ponte Vecchio enchanted also Hiltler: during World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the retreating Germans forces did not destroy. Instead they demolished the buildings onthe sides to block the access.
Later in 1966 the bridge miraculously survived the catastrophic flood the hitet the city.
Today you can admire Ponte Vecchio by taking a passeggiata, a walk, or underneath in occasional concerts and boat rides.