Medieval Italian bridge was pedestrian-only — until California tourist arrived, cops say

The Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence.


Aspen Pflughoeft

Italy’s Ponte Vecchio Bridge has withstood centuries of heavy use, a retreating destructive army in WWII — and tourists.

The medieval bridge was constructed in 1345 and stretches across the Arno River in Florence, according to Britannica. The pedestrian-only bridge has a lower level with shops and an upper level with walkways connecting art galleries and palaces on either side of the river.

A 34-year-old man from California was visiting Florence on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 26, according to a news release from the City of Florence.

The tourist was driving a rental car and looking for a parking space when he drove across the Ponte Vecchio bridge, he said in the release.

Police stopped the man and realized he was driving without a proper international driving permit, per the release. Police fined him about $540 for driving without a permit and driving in a pedestrian area.

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