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Concierge.com's insider take:
Crossing the Arno at its narrowest point, the 14th-century Ponte Vecchio is one of the most famous bridges in the world. Today it is lined on both sides with quaint shops selling gold and silver jewelry (a mix of upscale and cheaper outlets), but until Cosimo de' Medici kicked them out in the mid-1500s, it housed the city's butcher shops. The Corridoio Vasariano, Cosimo I's secret passageway linking the Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti, runs along the eastern side. It was the only bridge in Florence saved from destruction during the German bombing raids in 1944, and it stood up to the disastrous flood of 1966, though the force of the water smashed through many of the shops and carried away a wealth of gold, much of which has never been found.
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