Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

The Ponte Vecchio is probably one of the most photographed sights in Florence. Below is a panoramic shot taken before World War II.

The story goes that the bridge was first built by the Romans, which is probably true. The Romans hardly saw a river they didn’t bridge at least half a dozen times just because they could. Ponte Vecchio was noted in records gleaned from the year 996. Then it was destroyed in 1117 by a flood and again in 1333. So, it’s been a tough go over the centuries for this particular piece of real estate. Fortunately the bridge survived World War II, although buildings on both sides were destroyed to prevent the Allies crossing it easily. Luckily for us, we have photographic records like this to see what was.

I suppose the lesson once again, (and I mentioned this in an earlier post), is that you should print some of your photographs. If for no other reason, they will provide a record of the past for those people who inherit the future. I would recommend writing a few notes on the back of those photographs. A written document produced by contemporary sources is a rare and valuable find for historians. Your scribbling may become the lost link in a chain of events that today seem insignificant. Also, it may provide the context for a bigger issue, the details of which had been lost. Don’t spare the ink!

Published in: on September 15, 2008 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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