Named after the era when the city was Italy’s capital, this residenza is Florence at her best – authentic, graceful, and uncompromisingly chic. Michel and Cinzia (who, it’s no surprise to learn, is a historian) have combined the elegance of 19th-century Florence with the comforts of 21st-century living. It works, beautifully. Frescos dance overhead, dark-stained floorboards gleam underfoot, chaise longues and other antique pieces sit comfortably alongside contemporary three-legged floor lamps, and there’s fresh white linen on custom made beds – some with white cushioned headboards that stretch the length of the wall. Big marble bathrooms are state-of the-art and filled with gorgeous smellies. The five bedrooms are named after writers who visited Florence in the 1800s – Dostoevsky, Henry James – adding to this B&B’s quietly cultural air. There are bits that catch you by surprise too – like the breakfast room with walls dressed in ruby red fabric. No outside space but open the windows for the green views and birdsong of the beautiful Wilson-Gattai gardens. Florence’s treasures lie at your feet!