Last day of the 5 Day B&W Photo Challenge ~ The Ponte Vecchio

For my final B&W photo from Italy, it was a toss up between Venice and Florence. The oldest and most famous bridge in Florence won the toss. Ponte Vecchio is the only surviving bridge from Florence’s medieval days, its other bridges having been blitzed in World War II. Legend has it that Hitler really took such a liking to this particular bridge, that he ordered it should be spared. The original wooden bridge which had crossed the Arno River at this spot since Roman times, was destroyed by flood in 1117. The replacement bridge, with three arches constructed in stone, was demolished in the terrible flood of November 1333, when according to the chronicles of Giovanni Villani, everything but the two central piers was swept away when huge logs in the rushing water became clogged around it, allowing the water to build and “leap over the arches.” It was rebuilt in 1345.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Ponte Vecchio, meaning ‘The Old Bridge’, was initially home to butchers’ shops, but in the 16th century, because the influential Medici family who used the corridor on the second level as a pathway across the river, decided the smell of raw meat was too nauseating, the meat was replaced with something much less offensive to the nostrils; gold, silver and jewels. Today it’s a major tourist attraction, and is lined with jewellers, art dealers and souvenir shops.

Thanks Issy of Isadora Art and Photography for nominating me to take part in the 5 Day B&W Photo Challenge.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

My longtime South African blog friend Michelle, The Happy Hugger, has kindly volunteered to do the challenge. Her blog is about “Life, love, happiness and most of all kindness,” and I know she’d love to have you visit.