Unlike all the other bridges across the Arno, the Germans did not destroy Ponte Vecchio on their retreat in 1944. There is good evidence that this was on express orders from Hitler. They did destroy the buildings on either side of it to make use of the bridge initially impossible.
A stone with an inscription from Dante records the spot at the entrance to the bridge where Buondelmonte de' Buondelmonti was murdered on behalf of the Amidei in 1215 initiating the urban fighting of the Guelfs and Ghibellines that ultimately lead to Dante's exile.
"Yet to that battered stone that guards her town
And bridge, 'twas fit that Florence, in the hour
She last knew peace, should strike a victim down."
Paradiso xvi 145-147