The Ponte Vecchio, a historic bridge in Florence, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and is best enjoyed on foot. However, a California tourist learned this week that attempting to drive across the bridge can come with a steep price.
The man, who was 34 years old and driving a rented Fiat Panda, received a fine of 500 euros for driving on the pedestrianized bridge without an international driver’s license. According to a statement from the City of Florence press office, the man stated that he was searching for parking and did not realize he was on the famous medieval bridge.
The Ponte Vecchio, which spans the Arno River, is a 98-foot-long landmark that is lined with shops and typically crowded with pedestrians.
It is the oldest bridge in Florence and has been rebuilt several times throughout its history. It is also home to the Vasari Corridor, a passageway used by Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in the 16th century.
The City of Florence is planning to invest 2 million euros in an extensive renovation project for the Ponte Vecchio. This incident is not the first time a tourist has caused trouble by accidentally driving into a famous Italian landmark.
Last May, a Saudi man was charged with aggravated damage to cultural heritage and monuments after he drove a rented Maserati sports car down the Spanish Steps in Rome and fled the scene after the vehicle became stuck.