The Ponte Vecchio Bridge that spans the River Arno in Florence, Italy is known as the “Old Bridge” and for a period of time it was the only bridge that crossed the river in the city. The original bridge was built in the 1200s but this version was rebuilt in 1345 after a flood washed out the previous one. It was also the only bridge that the Germans left standing in World War II as even they did not want to damage its beauty. Instead they blocked access to it by toppling buildings on both sides of the bridge so traffic would be unable to enter from either direction without significant amounts of work being done to clear the crossing.
Ponte Vecchio Bridge at Sunrise (Florence, Italy)
I didn’t know this when we visited but after reading ‘Inferno’ by Dan Brown I learned there is a secret passage running above all of the shops (now gold shops but they used to be butcher shops – in the height of summer imagine the smell!) that would allow the ruling family to cross the river from one royal building to another without having to mingle with the “common people”.