Ponte Vecchio is yearning to get back tourists

 Monday, May 24, 2021 


Fadi Ayshoh, retail director of the Gold Art boutique, said “Ponte Vecchio lives on Americans.” In the window, he positioned a five-carat diamond, priced at 160,000 euros optimistically, “This is going to sit here until the Americans come back. Then it will sell in a heartbeat.”

Recently, expectation has been rising among the shopkeepers related to jewelry business on this medieval bridge, from the time Italy has made quarantine requirements for travelers from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Israel null and void. It has finally opened its doors to couple of flight services for Covid-tested passengers from the United States and other countries.

“This summer, we won’t have the numbers we had in 2019, but we’ll have good-quality people,” Mr. Ayshoh said. “People who really love Italy.”

The renaissance history of Florence is brightly evident on the Ponte Vecchio. The cobblestone thoroughfare has 48 pocket-size jewelry storefronts and a jumble of gravity-defying work spaces propped up beyond the girders of the bridge.

It was constructed in 1345 at the narrowest crossing of the Arno River. Originally, Ponte Vecchio was a street market for the butchers and fishmongers. However, after the construction of Medici’s Vasari corridor which was built so the family could cross the bridge in comfort, a 1593 decree by Ferdinando I de’ Medici replaced those stinking operations with goldsmiths and jewelry dealers. Presently, for jewelers, these shops are exclusively reserved even though maximum of the artisans who work together with them have moved beyond the bridge’s high-cost commercial strip.

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