It is one of the main symbols of the city of Florence, is suspended over the River Arno at the narrowest point. The first construction dates back to Roman times, but it was damaged several times when the river flooded. In 1442, the city authorities obliged the butchers to move their shops onto Ponte Vecchio in order to isolate them from the palaces and the dwellings in the centre of the city, aiming above all to eliminate the unpleasant smells which could thus be dispersed directly in the current of the river. As of that moment, the bridge became the meat market, although in 1593, by order of Ferdinand I who did not appreciate the unpleasant smells under the windows of the Vasarian corridor, the shops were occupied by goldsmiths and jewellers, as they still are today. This is the only bridge in Florence which was not destroyed by the Germans in the Second World War.
is a splendid work by Brunelleschi, commissioned by the banker Luca Bonaccorso Pitti in the second half of the 1400s. It was originally planned as a 2 storey building, whereas the Palace that we admire today is the result of many modifications carried out over the centuries. In 1550, Cosimo de’ Medici bought the splendid Palace for his family dwelling and commissioned Bartolomeo Ammannati to construct the porticoed courtyard and the large windows known as “inginocchiate” (kneeling) because of their shape; the park, however, known as the Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens) after the hill of the same name, is the work of Niccolò Tribolo. In 1565, the famous Corridoio Vasariano (Vasari Corridor) was built, to connect Palazzo Pitti with Piazza della Signoria, and in 1618, Giulio da Parigi enlarged the building with 2 more wings of 2 storeys. Lastly, on the occasion of his marriage to Vittoria della Rovere, the Grand Duke Ferdinand II called on artists like Giovanni da Sangiovanni and Pietro da Cortona to make the building a palace fit for a king. At the end of the 1700s, on the order of Pietro Lepoldo, the Palazzina della Meridiana was designed, where today visitors can admire the Contini Bonacossi Collection; it is in neo-classical style and has two wings, the last additions to Palazzo Pitti, which stretch forth along Piazza della Signoria. Today the Palace houses important museums.
is an historic park of the city of Florence. Created as the grand ducal garden of Palazzo Pitti, it is also connected to the Forte di Belvedere, a military outpost for the safety of the sovereign and his family. The park is one of the most important examples of Italian gardens in the world and, with its collection of sculptures dating from ancient Rome to the XIX century, it is nothing less than an open air museum. The Gardens were created between the XV and the XIX centuries and cover an area of about 45,000 square metres. The statues and buildings, such as the seventeenth century Kaffeehaus (a rare example of rococo style) from which there is a view over the whole city, or the Limonaia (Orangery), take on considerable importance. The Garden has four public entrances, as well as an “extra” exit leading out into Palazzo Pitti.
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