View from the Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.
The bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times. The bridge first appears in a document of 996.After being destroyed by a flood in 1117 it was reconstructed in stone but swept away again in 1333 and was rebuilt in 1345.
*INTERESTING FACT on the word ‘backruptcy’ !!
It is said that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this practice was called “bancorotto” (broken table; possibly it can come from “banca rotta” which means “broken bank”). Not having a table anymore, the merchant was not able to sell anything.