Ponte Vecchio means "old bridge" in Italian and it's certainly that. The bridge on the River Arno was mentioned in a document as far back as 996 AD. Destroyed a couple of times but always rebuilt, it was spared by the retreating Germans in 1944 on the orders of Hitler (although the medieval buildings on each side of the bridge were demolished, blocking access).
Once upon a time, bridges were places of commerce with butchers, tanners and fishmongers plying their trade there. By the end of the 16th century, the bridge was upgraded to sweeter-smelling businesses for goldsmiths and jewelers. Not too different to who's there now. Lying across the Arno at its narrowest point, it's just 98-feet long.