Florence mayor defends renting Ponte Vecchio to Ferrari

'I'd do it again' says Renzi

Florence mayor defends renting Ponte Vecchio to Ferrari

Florence, July 2 - Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi said Tuesday there is nothing wrong with closing the city's iconic Ponte Vecchio to the public and renting the bridge to corporate clients for a few hours. Renzi was defending a decision to close the historic bridge and its shops to visitors for about three hours last Saturday so that the Ferrari corporation could host a private event there. "I believe that closing the Ponte Vecchio for three hours (is justified)," said Renzi. "We would do it again". The mayor, believed to be a likely leadership contender for the national centre-left Democratic Party (PD), described Ferrari as an important potential investor for Florence. He added that event netted about 120,000 euros for the municipal government - enough, he suggested, to fund holiday camps for disabled children.

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