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Virtual Earth map of Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

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The Ponte Vecchio, literally "Old Bridge," is a famous medieval bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for having numerous shops (mainly jewelers) built along it. It is Europe's oldest segmental arch bridge.

Believed to have been first built in Roman times, it was originally made of wood. After being destroyed by a flood in 1333 it was rebuilt in 1345, this time in stone. Most of the design is attributed to Taddeo Gaddi. The bridge consists of three segmental arches, the main arch has a span of 30 meters, the two side arches each span 27 meters. The arches' rise is between 3.5 and 4.4 meters, and the rise-to-span ratio approximately 1:5.



 

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