National Geographic : 1957 Jun
0 National Geographic Society 794 For More Than 600 Years Florentines Have Crossed the Arno on the Ponte Vecchio Living museum of the Middle Ages and treasure house of the Renaissance, Florence lost much in World War II. Retreating German soldiers blew up blocks of masonry near the span, including a score of palaces, 50 medieval houses, and a dozen towers. Obeying Hitler's order, they demolished five Arno bridges but spared Ponte Vecchio. New buildings rise from the ruins. A bell tower and the dome of the Church of Santo Spirito stab a stormy sky.