The real journey begins when you slow the pace and get to know Florence like a local, from the hidden cafe to the country drive. The journey continues beyond the city walls on a series of day trip ideas that you're bound to love.
On a crisp, beautiful day you can venture out of the city, and from a mere 15 kilometres, you'll find yourself amid the rolling Tuscan hills. Le Baccanti organises guided horse riding tours that pass through ancient trails with English-speaking guides. En route are rustic farmhouses, vineyards and wonderful views – perfect for singles, couples, friends and families.
Rent a vespa and cruise the hills just outside the city, complete with a picnic basket loaded on the back. Mela Vespo offers rentals for a couple of hours or the full day. You'll have the freedom to move and park wherever you feel inspired for a photo or scenic toasts. Some of the places you can visit include Bolgheri, a Tuscan treasure and great spot for an afternoon lunch. There are some great wineries around here, notably Tenuta San Guido and Tenuta Argentiera. The Winerist offers some interesting experiences.
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While Florence is a destination in itself, it is also a tempting invitation to Tuscany, with the legendary towns just one hour away. Luxe of Italy can help to arrange a set of wheels delivered to your hotel and from there you can venture to the unknown. Whizz down the gorgeous country roads, linger over endless lunches in family-run agricultural farm resorts, or visit a winery and open a special bottle of wine in the middle of a field. Some cities and towns you can easily discover on a day trip include San Gimignano, Volterra, the Chianti region, and Arezzo.
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Head to the Terme di Saturnia, a series of natural hot springs that flow just a few kilometres outside the village of Saturnia. Among the age-old legends passed down by the Romans and Etruscans, the springs were formed by lightning bolts sent by Jupiter towards Saturn - the bolts missed their mark and created the formations. Whether it is the result of deity wars of nature's maternal way of warming us up, the springs are well worth the journey. There are several hotels nearby, including the Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort, where you can book a day's package of spa treatments and utter relaxation.
There are plenty of day spas and open-air venues where you can immerse and re-emerge from the depths, purified and satisifed.
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Keep it Local
A lovely aperitivo bar opened by a Florentine family, Cafe1926 is a cosy local’s place where you can sip champagne and sway to the music of the live bands that perform here. In fact, it is neither a restaurant nor a bar, rather something magical in between. The evening lights, old-world charm, and warm atmosphere are just the way to welcome the evening.
Sample villa life: head up to Belmond's Villa San Michele hotel and enjoy a splendid view over the city of Florence and the landscape around you. You'll be forever charmed by exceptional hospitality, a calm atmosphere and wonderful cuisine. If booked in advance, you can even sign up for an afternoon cooking class at the hotel's cooking lab.
Sample some incredible Neapolitan pizza at Santarpia, sworn by locally-bred Florentines to be the best in town.