Bridges. FLORENCE. 52. Route. 289
admirers strove to reawaken in poetry and eloquence, as well as in art and
science. Florence under the Medicis in the 15th cent, was the great focus
of this aim, the principal results of which emanated hence, exercising a
marked influence on the whole of Italy, as well as the rest of Europe.
Florence is situated on both banks of the Arno, but by far
the greater part of the city lies on the r. bank. On the latter,
to the N. of the Ponte Vecchio, at some distance from the river,
was situated the Roman town of Florentia, which however was
extended at an early period in. the middle ages to the opposite
bank of the Arno. The walls of the city, which have recently
been almost entirely removed, were constructed at the same time
as the cathedral, between 1285 and 1388. The ancient Gates
however have been spared , of which the following are the most
interesting: Porta alia Croce (PL G, 5), erected in 1284, with
frescoes by Ghirlandajo; Porta S. Gallo (PL F, 2), erected in
1330, also adorned with frescoes by Ghirlandajo; Porta Romana
(PL A, 6), erected in 1328 by Jacopo Orcagna. The New
Quarters of the town are at the W. end, on the r. bank of
the Arno , extending as far as the Cascine (p. 328), and here
the best hotels and the residences of English, American, and
other visitors are situated. A number of broad new streets have
also been constructed on the site of the old fortifications, to the
N. and E. of the Porta S. Gallo, extending as far as the Arno,
and not yet entirely completed.
Bridges. The oldest of the six bridges which connect the
banks of the Arno is the Ponte alle Grazie, constructed 1235,
with a chapel of 1471, and restored 1835, the scene in 1283 of
the union effected between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. The
Ponte Vecchio said to have existed as early as the Roman period,
reconstructed, after its repeated demolition, by Taddeo Gaddi in
1362, consists of three arches, over which a gallery is carried to
connect the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi with the Palazzo Vecchio.
Ponte S. Trinita, erected soon after 1567 in a substantial and
handsome style by Bartolommeo Ammanati, is embellished with
statues representing the four seasons. Ponte alia Carraja, ori¬
ginally constructed 1218, destroyed together with the Ponte Vec¬
chio by an inundation in 1333, restored 1337, was finally renewed
in 1559 by Ammanati by order of Cosmo I.
The river is bordered on both sides by broad and handsome
quays, termed the Lung' Arno, of which the different parts are
the Lung' Arno Corsini, the Lung' Arno Soderini, Lung' Arno
Nuovo, etc. The busiest streets are the Via Tornabuoni (PL C,
4) and the Via Calzajuoli (PL D, 4).
The city possesses 87 churches and a number of grand old
houses and palaces which bear testimony to its ancient prestige.
The following piazzas deserve mention : Piazza della Signoria, P.
deW Annunziata, P. di S. Croce, P. del Duomo, P. di S. Maria
Novella, P. dell' Indipendenza (PL D, E, 2), the P. d'Azeglio
B.edeker. Italy I. 2nd Edit. 19