The Old Bridge

Etching of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence by N.W. Ward (LEO Design)

Sadly, this year's travel plans have been supplanted with overdue home projects, including the hanging and cataloging of my personal collection of paintings and other artwork.  So this summer, in lieu of an overseas getaway, I could only gaze wistfully at framed pictures as I hung them—many of them reminding me of my favorite travel destinations (and vacations gone by).  Let me share a few of them with you.  Alas, this shall be the extent of my romantic journeys for Summer 2020.  On the whole, I have little to complain of.  In the meantime, I'll enjoy a few more "little journeys,' gazing at my pictures of my favorite places.

Amongst Florence's many (many, many) highlights, is this rather workmanlike bridge, called the Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge").  The oldest known reference to it dates to 996 AD, and scholars suspect it was first built in Roman times.  It spans the narrowest part of the River Arno and has been swept away at least a couple of times in its history.  Today's version was built in 1345—although modifications, additions and the Flood of 1966 have changed its appearance since then.  The deck of the bridge is lined with tightly-cobbled rows of shops. The bridge once housed farmers, butchers and tanners shops.  Today the bridge is lined with jewelers, art galleries and souvenir sellers—eager to capture tourist dollars in this unique and time-worn venue.

This etching (by N.W. Ward) shows the bridge from the Oltrarno ("beyond the Arno") side of the river.  It beautifully captures the "higgledy-piggledy" character of the famous Florentine bridge.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248