Worth getting out of bed for
Leave the tourists and city bustle behind with a tour of Tuscany on Vespas (www.tuscanybyvespa.com). Groups head off daily at 9.30am. Sticking with the wheeled theme, try the Florence History Bike Tour (www.ibikeflorence.com), which departs twice a day, at 10am and 3pm. One of the best ways to explore Florence is by foot, and the apartments are perfectly placed for a day’s wandering: head to the Duomo and ogle the architecture (climb to the top for dazzling views), admire the sculptures in the Bargello museum (www.firenzemusei.it), and the Renaissance masterpieces at the Uffizi gallery (www.uffizi.com). Florence is a fashion-lovers’ dream; pick up tissue-thin cashmere scarves with dreamy, subtle patterns from Faliero Sarti (+39 392 051 8189; www.falierosarti.com) at Via della Spada.
Osteria de’ Benci (+39 055 234 4923; www.osteriadeibenci.it) at 13 via dei Benci serves classic Tuscan fare; try the Chianina beef steak, the ubriacona ‘the drunkard’ spaghetti cooked in red wine, and strawberry risotto. Bored of pizza and pasta? Lugarno 23 (+39 055 234 5957) at Lungarno Torrigiani serves up the region’s renowned Chianina beef in bun-clad burgers. Trattoria 4 Leoni (+39 055 218562) at Via de' Vellutini is just a few steps away; sample Tuscan specialities such as bistecca alla Fiorentina, peposo (stew), polpettone (meatballs) and gran fritto dell' aia (fried chicken, rabbit and vegetables – or fish on Fridays). Have lunch with the locals at Sano Bevitore (+39 055 211 264; www.ilsantobevitore.com) at 66 via Santo Spirito. The seasonal menu (featuring dishes such as pumpkin soup, grilled fish and octopus with tomato) is great value, and there’s also an enticing, reasonably priced wine list.
Stop for drinks, cheese and charcuterie at Il Santino (+39 055 211 264), a cosy wine bar at Via di Santo Spirito.
Sweet tooths will love the artisanal gelato at Grom (+39 055 216 158; www.grom.it), a short walk away at Via del Campanile. Ingredients are organic and top-quality: lemon from Amalfi, hazelnut from the Langhe, Leonforte peach, Bronte pistachio and the Ribera strawberry.