The Last Jeweler on the Ponte Vecchio

Jan 20, 2017 1032

More than 16 million tourists descend on this city of 360,000 each year, most making a beeline for the ancient Ponte Vecchio to memorialize their visit with a cellphone held on a selfie wand. As a ready-made postcard, the view of the Arno River from the bridge's midpoint would seem hard to top. And yet, as with so much else in Florence, another, even better vantage point on the city lies hidden in plain sight.

Through a shop door and up three flights of narrow stairs, beneath ceilings that are lower the higher you go, is a room with a worn wooden workbench facing a window. From there, the last craftswoman still occupied making jewelry on the bridge where goldsmiths have plied their trade for five centuries has maybe the most enthralling of Florentine vistas all to herself.

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