That’s right, jewellery shops made their appearance on Ponte Vecchio only in 1593-94, at the request of Ferdinando I de’ Medici. Before that, butcher shops brought life to the bridge. In so doing, butchers had been kept afar from the buildings in the city center and were also allowed to throw the foul-smelling wastes directly into the river.
Thing is, such scenery (and smells) didn’t go along that well with the Medici’s plans, especially if you consider that Palazzo Pitti had by then become the official residence of the Grand Dukes, so that meant the Medici family frequently traversed the Vasari Corridor, built in 1565 right above the east side of Ponte Vecchio.
In a nutshell, butchers had to relocate their businesses.