Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, is a beautiful city full of churches, picturesque squares, local markets and bustling trattorias.
Just a short stroll from the tourist hotspots is where you’ll find Relais Santa Croce - an eighteenth century residence and hotel - with frescoed ceilings and the home of Enoteca Pinchiorri, a three-starred Michelin restaurant.
We arrived into the grand reception hall, a converted music room with beautiful frescoed ceilings and were greeted by the manager with a glass of prosecco.
Our suite which overlooked the terracotta rooftops and Santa Croce church.
After settling in, we met with a local food expert who took us on a tour around Florence - including All’antico Vinaio, a famous sandwich shop, My Sugar, a popular gelataria and Le Volpi e L’Uva, local wine bar located just over the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge.
As the sun began to set, we caught a taxi up to the nearby mountains and dined on fresh pasta at Trattoria Omero with views over Florence.
The next morning, breakfast in bed : perfectly cooked eggs, fresh fruits and a much needed coffee!
We then wandered to the nearby Sant’Ambrogio farmers market.
Next stop : the Uffizi gallery where we finally got to see the beautiful 1484 painting by Botticelli - The Birth of Venus.
We then enjoyed some ice cream in the sunshine on the Uffizi rooftop cafe before meeting friends for drinks and a hearty lunch near the San Lorenzo market.
After a long day, it was great to be able to head back to the calm surroundings of the hotel and relax over a few negronis.