Day 7 - early evening
As promised, we were dropped off along Florence's Arno River in the touristic part of the city. Only five couples elected to get off, the remainder having decided to stay on the motor coach and head back to the hotel. Looking at my watch, it was almost 5:15pm as I mentally calculated the time it should take us to walk back to the hotel…..like an hour at the latest if we take our time!
In front of me, the Ponte Vecchio appeared quite beautiful! Behind it, the sun was slowly disappearing as the clouds invaded the sky! It was past five thirty and the sun’s last rays were painting a rainbow of colors of the bridge’s shadow on the river’s surface. It was quite a site!
Slowly but gradually, we walked towards the Vecchio’s bridge but not before crossing over a neighboring bridge a few hundred meters in front of it! This way, I told Michel, we could easily walk back to this side of the river by simply crossing over the famous PonteVecchio! Good thinking right! Because you see….I had every intentions of walking on it!
Well, that’s exactly what we did and let me tell you, I was quite pleased with my decision. It allowed me to admire this medieval stone bridge built over the Arno River from many angles as we crossed the river from the other bridge.
I later learned that this particular Vecchio Bridge was believed to have been first constructed during the Roman times but since it only appeared in documents in the 10th
century, no one knows for sure. That after having been destroyed by a flood in the 12th
century, it was reconstructed in stone consisting of three segmental arches in the 14th
century! That it had always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables along it! Interesting facts!
Finally, here I was walking on this famous bridge and loving every minute of it! It was crowded with people either crossing it, browsing at the shops or simply watching the sunset. You should know that this was my kind of bridge because the shops all along it were jewelry boutiques! Wow! Of course, I had to look around and even though we did enter inside a few of the shops, no purchases were done! They didn’t have what I was looking for! Michel appeared relieved though! Little did he knew what I was looking for at that time! Ha, ha, ha!
Having crossed over the Vecchio Bridge and now being on the right side of the river, we now had to find our way back to the hotel! Dusk had settled in, and daylight was slowly disappearing!
Glancing at the map that Ernesta had given us with the directions going back to the hotel, we knew that we had to get a move on before darkness settled in. With full speed ahead, we proceeded to walk deeper into Florence’s medieval city not knowing exactly what to expect! Monique :-)