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The district across the river, as it is referred to by Florentines (Oltrarno literally means “on the other side of the Arno”), Oltrarno is one of the oldest areas of the city, and heavily populated by craftsmen. In addition, the religious community is well represented, with the monastery and church of Santo Spirito.
Later in Florentine history, the Medici bought the Pitti Palace, connecting it to the Palazzo della Signoria and the Uffizi with a series of secret passages, one of which crossed the upper level of the Ponte Vecchio. The network was a smart investment considering all the different people throughout the Renaissance who had attempted to kill them.