Ponte Vecchio

Landmark / Outdoor Activity / Shopping Area
Ponte Vecchio One of Florence's most famous landmarks, Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is a structural masterpiece that has been home to merchants and traders since at least 1345 – though the medieval butcher shops have since been replaced by... Florence Italy 43.7680561 11.2531608
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Ponte Vecchio - Landmark | Outdoor Activity | Shopping Area in Florence.
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Emma

Party Earth Review One of Florence’s most famous landmarks, Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is a structural masterpiece that has been home to merchants and traders since at least 1345 – though the medieval butcher shops have since been replaced... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily 9am–midnight

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Ponte Vecchio Review

The Scene

One of Florence's most famous landmarks, Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is a structural masterpiece that has been home to merchants and traders since at least 1345 – though the medieval butcher shops have since been replaced by...

One of Florence’s most famous landmarks, Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is a structural masterpiece that has been home to merchants and traders since at least 1345 – though the medieval butcher shops have since been replaced by jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir sellers.

While hordes of tourists pack Ponte Vecchio during the day to shop and take pictures of the Arno River, the scene mellows considerably after dark.

From sundown until around midnight, the middle section of this beautiful bridge becomes a casual local hangout for the city’s younger set, which gathers to drink wine, listen to the ubiquitous acoustic guitarists, and take in the scene.

The relaxing vibe along Ponte Vecchio is perfect for anyone looking for a low-key place to spend a long summer evening.

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Tip from Emma:

Given the area’s popularity with tourists, food and beverages can be a bit pricey in the places right near Ponte Vecchio. For cheaper prices, just cross the bridge to the Oltrarno area and explore a more authentic, local side of Florence.

  • Crowd

    Tourists during the day, young locals after sundown, all ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Usually a street musician or two playing acoustic guitar.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    The streets on both sides of the bridge are lined with sandwich shops and gelaterias, most of which stay open late in the summer.

  • Prices

    Sandwiches €4.50–€7, gelato €4–€8.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Summer days for shopping as the bridge is less crowded then. Evenings year-round for a lively younger crowd.

Ponte Vecchio User Reviews

Average rating:
Seriously breathtaking!
Natalie M. Oct 16, 2013
One of the best things about Ponte Vecchio is its wide variety of touring options. While some may prefer to meander, take some pictures, and stay a while, you also have the option to walk over the bridge and simply take in the sights. As one of the oldest bridges still in existence in Florence, it warrants a visit at least as a historical landmark. Plus, you get to see some seriously beautiful pieces of jewelry, and a little dose of diamonds never hurt anybody! There are certainly more authentic places to explore in Florence, however, I'd most certainly recommend at least passing through Ponte Vecchio.
A Florentine Fragment of History
Kendyll B. Mar 5, 2013
In visiting the Ponte Vecchio, it my be difficult to remember that it is actually quite dated. As its name (old bridge) implies, this Medieval structure is a historical landmark that has simply been revamped for tourist enjoyment. It is a wonderful place to shop if you are visiting for a short time or are looking to enjoy a spectacular view of the arno. Try to keep in mind, however, that if you are lucky enough to be in Florence for an extended sojourn, there are far less pricy areas with regard to both food and souvenirs. This bridge is also a great method by which to cross over to the other and, in my opinion, far more authentic side of the river. Here, you will find the Boboli Gardens as well as great little eateries like Gusta Pizza and Tratoria Ostera, both of which are far more true to their Italian nature when it comes to customers and food. In short, the Ponte Vecchio is definitely a great place to go at least once. Due to its extremely popular nature, it is often overrun with tourists and many of the items are somewhat overpriced. However, if you have a little free time on your hands and are looking to experience everything Florence has to offer, it can be a great destination as well as the perfect way in which to explore the more 'Italian' areas of the city.
do once
Sam R. Dec 13, 2012
I despise tourists who walk slow and that’s all the Ponte Vecchio has. Slow tourist walkers, slimy Italians hitting on the tourists and jewelry stores. You have to go to the Ponte Vecchio if you’re in Florence but there are other ways to cross the river and the Ponte Vecchio just is not worth the time and effort of traffic dodging. The locals here are dodgy and there are too many tourists. There’s no real need to spend any time here apart from the first visit so I learned my lesson the first time should have been my last.
must see
Claire M. Dec 12, 2012
It doesn't take much time, but like the Dumo and the David, Ponte Vecchio is historic, well known, and a must see when in in Florence. Whether it's to take your time checking out all the gold in the store windows or just to take a picture overlooking the Arno, set aside some time for the Ponte Vecchio. It can get crowded during the day with tour groups and guys trying to sell prints and fake bags, but at night it gets a little quieter and if you're lucky you can find a spot to sit along the wall and listen to the live musicians sometimes there in the warmer months. It's also great to walk down one bridge further, to Santa Trinita, to get a great shot with the Ponte Vecchio in the background.
Choose the other bridge
Tara R. Dec 6, 2012
The Ponte Vecchio is undoubtedly cool, but it's full of tacky jewelry stores and hard to navigate at most times of day and night. During the day, the other tourists stop and take photos is really annoying places, and during the night everyone’s making out in really inconvenient places. Appreciating the bridge is much easier across the way on the neighboring bridge, which, much less populated and much less frustrating to walk on, has an even better view of the Ponte Vecchio itself, and space along the bridge to sit and watch the river in all its activity.
Florence Landmark
Jody P. Dec 3, 2012
I absolutely loved the Ponte Vecchio. It is so historic and beautiful. When it comes down to it, the Ponte Vecchio is just a bridge so you kind of look at it and move on, but you must get to it while you are in Florence. All of the shops are basically souvenirs and jewelry but when you walk across the bridge you can just imagine stalls filled with butchers and farmers and other people selling there wares in the 14 and 1500's. It is a really interesting piece of history and is definitely worth making it a stop on your itinerary in Florence.
Must see...won't take long
Chris M. Sep 12, 2012
When you visit Florence, you have to see the Ponte Vecchio. I knew this without even really knowing what it consisted of, and it is pretty cool. There are shops that have been there for hundreds of years and in the middle arches facing east and an opening facing west. I was there before Christmas and there was a roving band of people dressed as Santa and some sort of promotional golf event where people were hitting golf balls into the river under the arches. I didn't buy anything but I assume the jewelry and trinkets are very overpriced. If you walk down the South bank west of the bridge there was a hotel entrance area where I was able to get some really good photos looking back at the bridge. All in all, however, my visit lasted about 20 minutes and then we walked back into the more central part of town for museums and activities that were more engrossing. Worth doing but not really that much to it.
The view is hard to beat
Nick T. Aug 24, 2012
Possibly the second most noticeable Florence landmark after the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio is understandably breathtaking. The bridge itself is a cool sight, but the truly awesome part of the bridge is the view from it with the classic Florentine buildings hugging the river. There is also cool street vendors and often live music or some source of entertainment on the bridge. The only downside of the bridge is that it is almost always jam-packed. Not only is the bridge crowded - but it is mostly all tourists taking pictures which can get a little frustrating if you actually want to get to the other side. Also, as in most of Florence but especially here, don't expect to hear much Italian being spoken as even the Florentines are usually speaking English to the passersby. All in all - Ponte Vecchio is a must-see landmark in Florence that I don't think anyone regrets having visited.
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