The Hedonist: Going wild in Florence

What to see and where to be seen

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The Independent Travel

I wake up with a jump to a knock at the door. The Boyfriend doesn't stir and since I'm somewhat disoriented, due to waking up face down in a ridiculously fluffy pillow, it takes the sight of terracotta rooftops and sunshine streaming through the windows to remind me that we are in Florence. Firenze: city of fashion, art, food and, as my pounding head is reminding me, rather potent cocktails.

Another knock and I stumble from the bed, wrapping myself in one of the hotel's delicious bathrobes on the way. I open the door to a cheery "Buongiorno" and our breakfast on a silver tray. Back in the cloud-like bed, I nudge The Boyfriend. With cappuccino and eggs Benedict, we recover from our mad night dancing at Doris (00 39 055 233 7783;

There's nothing like a morning of decadence after a night of hedonism. JK Place (00 39 055 264 5181; is serene and stylish, the kind of hotel you never want to leave. Yesterday our bags had been spirited up to our room the minute we arrived while we sipped espresso by the Louis XV fireplace and then enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails on the rooftop terrace.

JK Place is also only a short walk from our lunchtime venue. Our table at Cantina Barbagianni (00 39 055 248 0508; is a charmingly intimate affair, and before we know it, hours have passed in delicious mouthfuls and a steady stream of wine.

Back at the hotel, we find a bottle of spumante chilling in our room. The sound of the cork popping is followed by the sound of my clothes hitting the floor and I slip into the gigantic bathtub to soak away the remnants of my hangover and steel myself for another night out.

Dinner is booked at Ora d'Aria (00 39 055 200 1699; The food is incredible and every course is matched with a glass of wine. The suckling piglet with lavender and garlic is so good it makes my toes curl; I sigh with contentment.

We stumble along the Arno to the Ponte alle Grazie where we meet some friends and make our way to X Bacco Caffe, a bar that's reputed to make the best caipirinha in the city. It is perched on the corner of Piazza Santa Croce, with tables spilling out on to the square. Luckily, it's not too busy when we arrive, so we monopolise the bar. However, after a couple of cocktails the place is heaving with locals, expatriates and fellow travellers, all beautiful and bronzed. It's not long before everyone's dancing, cocktails in hand, out under the stars.

Light starts to filter through the sky, creeping over the rooftops with the promise of dawn. The dancing starts to wind down, so we wend our way back to our heavenly bed. After all, we need at least a few hours' beauty sleep before our train to Milan later this morning.

A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see