First, the Ponte Vecchio. The current version of this bridge was built in 1345 CE and is the oldest standing Florentine bridge crossing the Arno River. That is because all of the other bridges were destroyed by the Germans during their retreat up the Italian peninsula in World War II. The Germans spared the Ponte Vecchio because of its historical significance. The bridge is lined with high priced shops and is generally very crowded with tourists vainly looking for bargains. Here is my not very good shot of the bridge.
In addition to the shops and the tourists on the bridge, there is a prominent bust of the sculptor Celini. I decided to take an unorthodox shot of the bust that included a significant amount of negative space in the form of a cloudy sky. OK, I thought.
And here is a view of the next bridge downriver to the west.
The most prominent and important city square is the Piazza della Signoria. During our visit it seemed always to be exceptionally crowded with both tourists and locals. Here are a couple of shots of the general scene.
I did like this second shot for its nicely lit concentric archways. Initially, I thought I might capture the arches without the crowds, but that was really a vain hope, and I decided I really didn't mind them.
The piazza is home to a number of very significant sculptures, including the Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Women . . .
and Celini's Perseus with the Head of Medusa, considered the most important sculpture in the square.
Not a very good shot. I was hoping to get back to the square to get a better shot but never had the opportunity.
I also caught this lion, which probably has little significance, but I liked it anyway for the overall composition.
The square also includes a replica of Michelangelo's David, the original of which is now located in the Accademia museum. The replica is good, but everyone knows it is a fake.
Following are a number of photos of the general scene in Florence, including a few street artists.
Yup, this was not a statue but a guy willing to dress up in a robe, cover his face and hands with white paint, and hope to make a few euro from sympathetic passersby.
A store window featuring elaborate masquerade paraphernalia.
And a hotel sign.
I liked the above shot because the sign is reversed but perfectly readable.
The local constabulary, in this case female, wore distinctive helmets, here with the Duomo in the background.
Finally, I took the following candid shot of an individual peeking into the Duomo during our visit.