Florence was established by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers. It was originally named Fluentia, because it was built between two rivers. This was later corrupted to Florentia.
The Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River.
It still has shops built along it as was once common. Initially the shops would all have been occupied by butchers, but the Medici ended that practice and installed gold dealers and money changers.It is said that the concept of bankruptcy began here. If a money-changer could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the "banco") was physically broken ("rotto") by soldiers.
Today the tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.