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This article is about the waterway. You may be looking for the Assassin during the French Revolution.

The Arno, as seen from Ponte Vecchio.

The Arno is the primary waterway of Florence. It is a river that runs through the southern portion of the city and separates the Oltrarno District, in the south, from the San Giovanni, San Marco, and Santa Maria Novella District districts, in the north.


Near death experience[]

"When I was six years old I fell into the Arno. I soon found myself drifting down, and into darkness, certain my life was at an end."
―Lorenzo de' Medici recalling a childhood accident, 1478.[src]-[m]

Some time in 1455, a six-year old Lorenzo de' Medici fell into the Arno, and because he could not swim, he believed that his life was over as he drifted deeper into the river. Fortunately for the young boy, Lorenzo was rescued by a member of the Auditore family, who had dived into the river and pulled him out, saving his life, much to his mother's gratitude. Due to this event, a long-lasting and successful relationship developed between the families of the Auditore and the Medici.[1]

Auditore-Pazzi Brawl[]

In 1476, a young Ezio Auditore and his allies rallied on the Ponte Vecchio to brawl their rivals, the Pazzi. In the ensuing fight, Ezio and his brother Federico managed to subdue the Pazzi and force the remaining instigators, led by Vieri de' Pazzi, to flee back across the bridge.[2]

Auditore last rites[]

Cristina: "Tell me, what can I do?"
Ezio: "My family's bodies... I can't just leave them hanging from the gallows. I need to give them last rites. Send them on to the next world..."
—Ezio explaining his plan to Cristina, 1476.[src]

Some days later, Ezio met his lover, Cristina Vespucci, near to the Arno. He informed Cristina that he needed to provide his family with their last rites after Ezio's father, Giovanni, and brothers Federico and Petruccio Auditore, had been executed. After collecting his families' bodies from the Palazzo della Signoria, Ezio made his way back to the river. Stealthily and swiftly maneuvering past the vigilant guard patrol, Ezio was able to place his family's bodies on a gondola on the river, leaving them to finally rest in peace.[3]

Manfredo and the gamblers[]

Two years later, Ezio returned to Florence on business and met Cristina once again, learning that her fiancé, Manfredo Soderini, had been confronted by men that he owed money to on an unfinished bridge over the river. After defeating the gamblers, Ezio held Manfredo over the edge of the bridge until he confessed that he truly loved Cristina and would be a good husband to her, abandoning gambling in the process.[3]