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Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
The oldest and most famous bridge across the Arno, the Ponte Vecchio we know today was built in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi to replace an earlier version.
The characteristic overhanging shops have lined the bridge since at least the 12th century.
In the 16th century, it was home to butchers until Cosimo I moved into the Palazzo Pitti across the river.
He couldn't stand the stench as he crossed the bridge from on high in the Corridorio Vasariano every day, so he evicted the meat cutters and moved in the classier gold- and silversmiths, tradesmen who occupy the bridge to this day.
Building of the palace was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates hence the name "uffizi" ("offices").
Construction was continued to Vasari's design by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti and ended in 1581.
The cortile (internal courtyard) is so long and narrow, and open to the Arno River at its far end through a Doric screen that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe.
Vasari, a painter as well as architect, emphasized the perspective length by the matching facades' continuous roof cornices, and unbroken cornices between storeys and the three continuous steps on which the palace-fronts stand.
Today the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence.
The Pitti palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plate, jewellery and luxurious possessions.
In the late 18th century, the palazzo was used as a power base by Napoleon, and later served for a brief period as the principal royal palace of the newly united Italy. The palace and its contents were donated to the Italian people by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1919, and its doors were opened to the public as one of Florence's largest art galleries.
Today, it houses several minor collections in addition to those of the Medici family, and is fully open to the public.