Casa G Firenze is in the bustling centre of Florence, between the Duomo and the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, and amid artisan boutiques.
Florence Airport is a 25-minute drive from the hotel, while Pisa, which has more connections, is a 90-minute drive away. The hotel can help to arrange transfers on request.
Florence Santa Maria Novella is a 10-minute drive away; it connects directly with other major cities around the country. Transfers are €20.
Ditch the wheels and go at your own pace wandering Florence’s ancient streets. In fact, it’s nigh-on impossible to drive down many of them, either because they're restricted or built for horse and cart. However if you wish to explore the Tuscan countryside it’s easy to acquire some wheels, and you can stash them at Garage Giglio close to the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Itself the seat of the noted Ginori family of ceramicists, in a city built on powerful dynasties, Casa G is bang in the middle of the Renaissance’s stamping ground. But, good luck getting beyond the Via dei Rondinelli it sits on – especially if you have a penchant for artisanal wares. For one, the family’s flagship shop Ginori 1735 is there selling the tableware of dreams, vases and figurines, candles and fragrances; next door is Cuoieria Fiorentina, showcasing expertly tooled bags; Vintage 55 has pre-loved wearables with a focus on biker gear; Casheart serves strokeable cashmeres; and Sleeve Records has just-released and rare vinyls. And, in the wider neighbourhood there’s Tommy Hilfiger, Hermès, Prada, Guess, Isabel Marant… So, bring your plastic hardware. It’s worth making a pilgrimage to the Gucci Garden boutique – the store’s an experience in itself, with clothing, homewares and a vault of vintage treasures. It’s set by Piazza della Signoria, so you can swing by Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi, the Museo Nazionale del Bargello and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Go east along the Arno and you’ll pass Ponte Vecchio and reach the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, and Palazzo Strozzi, which has a mix of classical and modern artworks. The Palazzo della Repubblica has Dante’s birthplace (now a museum) and from here you’re in position to do the Duomo, Baptistry of St John, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, and the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella – perhaps one of the world’s most glorious boutiques; an apothecary in the 16th century, this frescoed darling now sells covetable perfumes and diffusers. Camp back at Casa G for the night, then tackle the attractions to the north: the Basilica di San Lorenzo, art at the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, David’s home, the Galleria dell’Accademia, the National Archaeological Museum of Florence, and paintings of the San Marco Museum. And, cross the river to the Piazzale Michelangelo to catch a sunset panorama across the city.
The hotel doesn’t serve dinner, because it doesn’t need to – you’re in Florence (swing a handbag and you’ll hit an eatery well worth your time and tastebuds). To persevere with palatial surrounds, book a table at Cantinetta Antinori, housed on the ground floor of 15th-century Palazzo Antinori, a very glamorous space, matched by an elegant menu that changes weekly. However, some mainstays include chickpea flatbreads filled with shrimp and calamari, thyme-baked guinea fowl, ragout and warm pear torta. Happily, the Anitnori family also happens to produce wines. Buca Lapi, in the palazzo’s basement, is another winner, and feels like a traditional trattoria, with its painted, arched ceilings. The food follows suit, with old-school, simple yet effective flavours: Tuscan sausage with ricotta cheese, pecorino-stuffed onions and wild boar with polenta. Osteria Antica Casa Torre was a Benedictine nunnery back in the day, and still kind of looks like one, but we’re betting the food has improved vastly. Order the maltagliati (made using chestnut flour in the traditional way) with pumpkin cream, bacon and pecorino; brick-roasted cockerel; and Chianti-style beef and black pepper stew. And, Trattoria Cammillo has enough confidence in its ribollita soup; celery, egg and bottarga salad; and parmesan-truffle fettuccine to not bother glamourising its homey decor – the higgledy-piggledy picture frames may be triggering for OCD sufferers.
Tuscany has three distinct truffle seasons: spring truffles can be found from January to April, black summer truffles from June to November, and rare white truffles from September to December; so lunch spot Procacci has a near year-long steady stream of the delicacies to fill its severely tempting paninis. These are filled with the likes of scrambled eggs and truffle; ham, mushroom and truffle cream; truffle and foie gras… You get the idea. It also has an oyster bar and serves more main courses with yet more fancy funghi. Café Cibreo is a throwback, with saffron walls, arched ceilings, very low lighting and a glass display case filled with pastries. Get your morning espresso in here or lunch on mackerel tartines, veal kidneys, wood-oven-baked ham and bitter-orange cheesecake.
Manifattura has a Twenties feel to it and sultry low-lit interiors. The barkeeps work their dark wizardry with all sorts of implements and Italian-made spirits, and the results – most packed with tropical fruits – are refreshing and intoxicating. And, if wine’s your poison, Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina, opposite Palazzo Pitti, takes it very seriously. Its list has vintage rarities, and Enomatic machines let you enjoy the finer bottles by the glass.