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A Florentine aquatic show: Ponte Vecchio lights up!

DSCF1248Imagine wandering down to the banks of the arno river on a Monday night to find a chaos of people, all clamoring to see one thing – the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge that is one of the most important landmarks in the city. This medieval cobblestones masterpiece once housed butchers, now expensive jewelery for tourists. During World War II, this bridge was the only bridge not bombed by Germans, rumored to be a special order from Hitler itself. It’s not wonder why even today for us ‘locals’ it remains a very special place. I walk on this bridge every single day to head home to the oltrarno and love seeing just how excited people get, snapping shots under the arches and listening to the guitar players laying on the ground during soft summer nights.

Yesterday we were treated to quite the show along the river for a new eco-friendly lighting system being turned on for the first time by famous Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli. The new ‘green’ lighting comes from 102 LEDs – a gift from the Stefano Ricci fashion house to mark the 60th anniversary of the city’s Fashion Center – this will offer savings of almost 80%, he said. French art troupe Iliotopie put on quite the ‘cirque du soleil’ like aquatic show and we wandered out there after dinner to see for ourselves.

While the Ponte Santa Trinita, the best viewing point, was occupied for a special private dinner [damn them] – we squeezed ourselves with the masses along the river banks heading towards Ponte alle Grazie. What a show, it seemed like every item you could imagine was made into a boat, an umbrella, a huge unicycle and a woman in a red dress, a man in a bed and beautiful fireworks throughout the night. I was super impressed! Towards 11:30, Bocelli finally made his appearance, his beautiful voice resonating with an echo on the dark Monday night and then finally, the Ponte Vecchio was turned on. I took some pictures from my suffocating vantage point so that hopefully you can see for yourself how amazing it really was.

Enjoy this Ponte Vecchio photo diary of last night and let me know what you thought of the show if you got the chance to see for yourself! 

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  1. ytaba36

    Thank you so much for this post! I was up at some ungodly hour of the morning (here in Australia), to watch this on a webcam. I saw tiny pieces, but didn’t get the big picture. Yay, you! Yvonne

    • GirlinFlorence

      My pleasure, I thought was special enough to write a quick post because was such a spectacular event. All the music, lights and work put into this made for quite an amazing Monday evening for us ‘normal folk’. Thanks for reading!

    • GirlinFlorence

      Ciao Andy and thank you for your compliment. I am obviously very biased to this bridge because of where I live but it always remains ‘home’ to me when I first lay eyes upon it after traveling abroad.

      • andydhare

        it is stunning. Your photos are superb.

        I used your restaurant recommendations a lot whilst in Florence last year. I’ve just set up a veggie dining blog in the UK/Birmingham, feel free to check it out. I aim to do a posting finally soon on my Florence visit, also going to Rome in September this year. :)

  2. Claire Urbach

    It looks spectacular! We went down to see it but gave up waiting at about 10.30. A number of people around us also did, especially those with children. We did see the beginning of the water display, though. It was a bit disappointing that it would go so late on a weeknight.

  3. Christopher Duda

    Wow! Thank you for sharing! I am a new follower who stumbled across your blog while doing research for my trip to Florence in October of this year.

    The night pictures are very well done. If you don’t mind sharing, what camera/lens were you using?

      • Christopher Duda

        Thank you for the reply! The x20 is on my possible list of cameras to get for the trip. Do you find the x20′s 4x zoom limiting? I am looking for a compact camera that does well in low light, but can also functions well as a “tourist” camera. I am not an advanced camera enthusiast, but your first hand opinion (and your terrific shots) mean a lot.

        Thanks again!

        • GirlinFlorence

          I don’t find the zoom limiting but then again I am far from a professional :). I have to say that it has proved me happy so far and I am still learning how to use it to be honest :)


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