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The Ponte Vecchio is one of the symbols of the city Florence and one of the most famous bridges in the world. Crossing the river Arno little downstream of the area where the river naturally presents the narrowest river inside the city of Florence in its upstream stretch of the Cascine. The area in question is the Canottieri under the Uffizi. In ancient times there was a ford .
The Old Bridge is made up of three wide arc-lowered passageways (height / width ratio 1: 6); For the first time in the West was overtaken by the Roman model that provided for the exclusive use of all-round (ie semicircular arches) that in the case of a very long bridge required a large number of arches, thus creating Potential dangers in case of full (for easy obstruction of the narrow valleys) or a very accentuated slope, equally undesirable solution (typical cases: Maddalena Bridge at Borgo a Mozzano The Bridge Fabricio , to Rome ). The example made school, with such a lowered arcade was built in XVI century Rialto Bridge at Venice and many others. The bridge of Alconétar , in Spain offers a much older example of use of lowered archway passageways, but can not avoid the problem of floating the riverbed with the Stacks supporting the arches, as it is a bridge with numerous small valleys, similar to the traditional bridges with full arches.
Another typical feature, much more evident to the tourist but less revolutionary, is the passage flanked by two rows of craft shops, made in ancient porches then closed, which made it famous, as if it were the continuation of the road. The Ponte Vecchio's shops all overlook the central passage, each with a single showcase enclosed by thick wooden doors, and often feature a backhoe built overhanging the river and backed by beccatelli (or "sport").
At the four corners of the bridge there were as many towers that controlled their access: these remain only the Mannelli tower , while the tower of the Rossi-Cerchi was rebuilt after the explosions of < 1167> 1944 [/url].