Ponte Vecchio in Florence is probably one of the prettiest when it comes to famous bridges. You’ll see this colourful medieval stone structure on most postcards of the region. And, it’s not only picturesque, it’s fun to cross – with lots of art dealers and souvenir stalls to explore. The bridge has an intriguing history, too. During the medieval period in Italy, it was used as part of a defensive structure, with four battlement towers built into it. And, during World War II, it was the only bridge over the Arno river that the Nazis didn’t destroy. There’s even a secret passageway that runs over the top of the bridge, called the Vasari Corridor, which takes you from Ponte Vecchio all the way to the Uffizi gallery. If you want to set foot onto this famous structure, take our Florence day trip from Tuscany, which gives you an insight into all the city’s best bits. You can also take a romantic boat ride on the river to view the bridge from below.
This iconic bridge has starred in so many movies, it should probably win an Oscar for its services to the film industry. Once Upon A Time In America, The Dark Knight Rises, Independence Day and The Avengers are just some of the classic films where you’ll spot Brooklyn Bridge. It’s not only film set fodder and an iconic New York feature, it’s one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and it was named a National Historic Landmark back in 1964. So, what’s the best way to explore Brooklyn Bridge? You can walk or cycle across it, getting views over the East River, and stopping off for some pizza at Prince Street Pizza on the Manhattan side, or ice cream from Jacques Torres Chocolate on the Brooklyn side. Or, you can take the free Staten Island ferry across from Manhattan to Staten Island to get views of both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
If you want to get to grips with Costa Rica’s nature scene – the Monteverde Cloud Forest is the place to be. This giant green canopy is home to hundreds of species of unique plant and animal life including tiny hummingbirds, fingernail-sized glass frogs and sloths snoozing in the trees. For the ultimate David Attenborough-style adventure, you can go trekking through the forest via the six hanging bridges that snake across the landscape. These super-long suspended structures extend over 2.5km, and if you dare clamber across them, you’ll get an amazing bird’s-eye view of the forest below. Best of all, once you’ve got your head around the sheer height, you could then tick off the hanging bridges at Arenal too, getting a view of the impressive volcano.
Like any good city landmark, some of the best bridges across the globe come to life with exciting illuminations at night. The Meydan Bridge in Dubai is no exception – this electric blue curved number has to be seen to be believed. The spectacular architectural masterpiece is 450 metres long, 60 metres wide, and can be seen lighting up the sky from miles away. The glow-in- the-dark bridge looks especially impressive from the top of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. If you head up there in the evening, you’ll tick off two amazing structures in one day, and get a gorgeous view of Dubai at night.
If you want to cross a record-breaker, head to Portugal, where you’ll find the longest bridge over an expanse of water in Europe – the Vasco da Gama. It spans a total length of 17.2 kilometres, so on a cloudy day, you can’t even see to the other end, and it took a whopping 18 months to build, with over 3,000 builders working on the impressive construction. It was also named after the famous ocean navigator, Vasco da Gama, and opened in 1998, just in time to celebrate the 500 th anniversary of his discovery of a sea route between Europe and India. The bridge connects the North and South of Lisbon, so if you’re on a Marella Cruises itinerary that ticks off this city, you’ll get the chance to cross Portugal’s most famous bridge.
The luxurious puts you right next to Central Park and gives you front-row access to the Macy’s Day Parade.
The Riu Palace Costa Rica has a peaceful setting right on the beach. Enjoy dining in the four à la carte restaurants or chill by one of the four outdoor pools.
Atlantis, The Palm offers other-worldly luxury, combining top drawer skyline views with a never-ending list of facilities, including free access to an underwater aquarium and a waterpark.
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