The Ponte Vecchio
The "old bridge" in Italian, it is one of the emblems of the city of Florence. Above the Arno river, the bridge is in the centre of the city. From far away, I thought the bridge was inhabited but I stood corrected! It is actually a street with the most luxurious jewellers in town.
The bridge used to be made out of wood but it was destroyed in a flood. The Florantini then rebuilt it out of stone using the old bridge's construction plans.
In the renaissance, the shops were the selling place of butchers and tanners, but they were replaced by jewellers in 1593 because the Medici could not stand the smell any longer.
Fontana del Porcellino
Not far from the Ponte Vecchio lies the fountain with the bronze swine. The fountain is a copy from the marble one the Medici found in Rome and transported back to Florence.
This particular fountain has a famous ritual: putting a coin in its mouth will bring luck and if it falls in the well it assures a safe trip to Florence in the future. Quentin tried 4 times before it fell in! Another tradition says one has to rub its nose for the same reason as the coin. All coins are turned into donations for the Opera della divina provvidenza Madonnina del Grappa.
There are many copies of the famous sculpture including in Australia, Germany but also in France, Denmark and the USA.