Florence is the third most visited city in Italy after Venice and Rome. Pre-COVID Florence received 16 million visitors a year! I wonder how many of them realize the Arno River stretches all the way to the Ligurian Sea? I’ll admit I didn’t until the day this Italy Pic of the Day photo was taken.
Italy Pic of the Day | Arno River in Florence
Today’s Italy Pic of the Day post includes a quick story behind the photo, a few Arno River facts, and a video that shows how beautiful Arno River can be. Enjoy getting swept away in Florence my friend!
Every time Paolo and I visit Florence, we use the exact same parking lot near Porta Romana. Believe it or not there are always free spots. Magic in a city notoriously difficult to park in. DM me on Instagram when you head to Florence and I’ll share the details!
The best part about parking where we do is walking up Via Romana when all of a sudden an expansive view of Arno River opens up. It’s a moment that always takes my breath away. Of course being there with the handsome Italian Photographer behind Italy Pic of the Day (who also happens to be the love of my life) doesn’t hurt either.
Florence is always a joy to explore on foot.
Yet it’s Arno River that bookends every visit and first flashes in my mind when I think of Florence.
If you have yet to see Florence, here’s that video I promised. It’s easy to see why so many tourists flock to Florence.
Video of Florence, Italy Showing Arno River
Today’s Italy Pic of the Day captures a near paradisiacal tranquility of Arno River. Yet the glassy surface belies a current that sweeps both water and destruction under the bridge.
1966 Flood of the Arno
Arno River starts all the way up in the slopes of the Tuscan Apennines and flows 150 miles past Arezzo, Florence, Empoli and Pisa before joining the Ligurian Sea. Along the way, Arno River passes under twelve bridges in Florence. The most famous of which Ponte Vecchio. The only one to have survived the destruction of the Second World War.
In addition to witnessing war, Arno River has a torrent history of it’s own. In November of 1966 dozens of people were killed as rushing waters collapsed an embankment and Florence flooded. Being the birthplace of the renaissance, millions of rare books and works of art were destroyed. Least I leave you on a sad note.
Do you think when Bartolomeo Ammannati built Ponte Vecchio he could have ever imagined how much water under the famous bridge there would be?