This is a brief description of the main sites in the neighborhood. I am working to provide more detailed information and pictures in the following days.   

Two are the places in Firenze deeply rooted in my heart: Ponte Vecchio and Boboli Garden.

I had the privilege to grow up in this area: Boboli Garden was the large playground where all the kids of the neighborhood flocked in the afternoon to play, running in the alleys and around the fountains. The entrance to the garden was free, and we played totally unaware of the historic importance of the spot.

Ponte Vecchio was always before my eyes: I have countless memories of afternoons spent doing my homework in the actual living area of the apartment – the former briefing room of my father's law firm. My father used to work next room. Gazing at the bridge while writing my Italian papers was not an option!

The magnificence of these two special places was part of my everyday life.

 

 

PONTE VECCHIO

 

My special place #1! Built in the 1st century b.C. it was the first bridge to cross the Arno in Florence. Damaged and repaired several times, in 1345 its distinctive shape with 3 ample arches and tiny shops lining its sides was finally set.

Its location made it the perfect place where butchers, fishmongers and tanners had their shops: they could throw their waste in the river without polluting the city.

When the Medici moved from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti in 1550, the Grandduke Cosimo I decided they needed a private route that connected their new Palazzo with the Uffizi - the government's headquarters. He called Giorgio Vasari to built an elevated enclosed passageway over the Ponte Vecchio, the Vasari Corridor, and a few years later Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewellers were allowed to have their shops on the bridge.

In modern times the Ponte Vecchio brilliantly survived the bombing of World War II and the flood of 1966.

This is why as a reminder of the strength of our city and a witness of our history, the Ponte Vecchio has become the iconic symbol of Florence.

 

 

 

THE VASARI CORRIDOR

 

                                                                                       

 

It's a half-mile-long passageway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti.

Built in 1565 by order of Cosimo I to the design of Giorgio Vasari it is now a small museum displaying a unique collection of paintings dating back from the 16th and 17th centuries onward, as well as modern artists' self-portraits.

Its privileged position that begins in the Palazzo Vecchio, snaking along the river bank, across the Ponte Vecchio and over the houses in the Oltrarno district to finally join the Palazzo Pitti, allows its visitors to enjoy particular views of some of the most beautiful areas of the city centre from its small roud windows.