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Bridge of Gold - Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, aka The Bridge of Gold, is a really beautiful spot in Florence. At night the bridge seems to glow with lights from the jewelery shops and the shimmer of gold jewelery. The entire bridge is covered in goldsmith shops, locals & tourists shopping and strolling around. The shop windows are incredible to look at because they seem to glitter. I am a sucker for glittery jewelery so I was pretty much mesmerized the entire time. The River Arno flows below the bridge, which is a famous landmark in Florence and the original bridge dated back to around the 900′s. The interesting thing is that back in the day, this bridge was still a popular shopping area but it was home to the local butchers. Rumor has it they threw the nasty bits out into the river at the end of the day. What was left was disgusting bits of entrails, blood & guts floating all around. The smell was overwhelming. It was so putrid that in the late 1500′s the Ferdinand I de’ Medici (of the famous Medici family) decided the smell was too disgusting and decided the bridge would be home to goldsmiths instead. For one, I am relieved – the stench of rotting meat would definitely ruin walking along this beautiful bridge.

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Taken on September 26, 2010