The success of Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan and their luxe-basics label, Bassike, comes down to quality natural fabrics and breezy, easy-to-wear silhouettes. The latter is thanks to their Northern Beaches home in Sydney. And the former? Annual trips to Florence to source materials for their knitwear. This is their must-do list when they touch down in the Italian city.

Best for coffee (and breakfast)

“In Florence, coffee and breakfast go hand in hand. Traditionally, you have a sweet breakfast with a good cappuccino, espresso or caffè macchiato. Caffe Pasticceria Serafini is fantastic and not too far from the Basilica di Santa Croce; Bottega di Pasticceria on the Arno River is also lovely.” 

Best trattoria

“L'Brindellone (Piazza Piattellina 10/11r, Florence; +39 055 217879) is excellent – it’s a small restaurant located in the cool area of San Frediano. Order pappa al pomodoro [a Tuscan tomato soup], insalata and a glass of chianti classico for a simple yet delicious meal. Trattoria Diladdarno nearby is also great and offers traditional fresh Florentine cuisine in a lovely outside courtyard.”

Best for aperitivo hour

“We love having an aperitivo at sunset at La Terrazza Rooftop Bar in the Hotel Continentale, located on the roof of a medieval tower on the Arno River. To stock up for aperitivo hour at home, Galanti, a wine store owned by one of the best sommeliers in Italy, is a must-visit.”

Best for a designer splurge

LuisaViaRoma is not to be missed. It’s a multi-brand boutique founded in Florence in the 1930s. It stocks a refined edit from emerging designers as well as the world’s leading fashion houses, including Maison Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, JW Anderson and Jil Sander.”

Best for boutique shopping

“Via de’ Tornabuoni, in the centre of Florence, is a shopping street with some of our favourite brands, including Prada, Céline, Hermès and Bulgari, and just around the corner is Bottega Veneta.”

Best market

“The Mercato Sant'Ambrogio isn’t too touristy and sells local produce such as fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and cheeses. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the Duomo and is open from 8am to 2pm, Monday to Saturday. It’s always buzzing with great food and people.”

Best for beauty

“You can’t go past the beautiful Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. It was founded in 1612 and is one of the world’s oldest perfume and skincare stores. They still use traditional oils and herbs with a focus on those grown in local soil.”

Best spa

“Unwind and relax at the luxurious Four Seasons spa. It sits among the trees in the hotel’s beautiful garden and uses products from Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Opt for the Iris Sensations – a treatment that includes a body wrap and relaxing full-body massage.”

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