Day 1

8:00 Morning work out, or if you prefer a personal trainer that doesn't break your pre-vacation good habits. Recommended as a way to get into the spirit and culture of the locals an Italian gym is like none other. Looking good and sweating as art!  Start with a run along the Arno River going east and stop by Virgin Active (RSVP needed, but free first visit). Get a workout with your personal trainer for an hour of fitness training adapted to your needs. The Turkish bath, sauna, or massage is perfect to end your morning.

12:00 Meet family, or friends at Caffé Serafina on Via Gioberti. This café is an ideal place for people-watching, but most of all appreciating the inspiration for Starbucks.  Italian's have dozens of ways to order and drink their coffee. Watch the barristas pass orders and serve in ways that redefine "espresso". Walk along Via Gioberti for some window shopping. Nice shops for a variety of tastes.

If you love chocolate, (who doesn't) there's a hidden boutique shop, La Bottega del Cioccolato, on Via Gioberti #61. Tuscany is an important producer of chocolate (a wintertime food) with an annual artisan festival of chocolate held in Florence in February. 

13:00 Da Rocco's  located in the San Ambrosio market is Florence's fast food alternative. A friendly staff and likelihood that you'll meet a local seated next to you. An upscale place is Caffé Cibreo serving comfort food.

19:00 If you're in the mood for a movie and want it in English go to The Odeon, next to the Palazzo Strozzi. The beautifully preserved cinema from another time is a treat we don't much see in America. This 19-century  restored cinema is host to film festivals even in the middle of summer. You can have an aperitivo before, or after at the theater's bar.

21:30 A great restaurant for a delicious burger is Lungarno 23 (that's the address too). While reservations are recommended, this high-end restaurant is the place well-dressed Italians go. It's a bit of a scene, but well worth it. Prices are also very reasonable.  

23:30 A nighttime stroll at Piazzale Michelangelo, it's a great way to see the city after dark. For a nightcap, the Se.Sesto on the Arno River is also a chic place to wind up your day.

Day 2.

10:00 The Mercato di Piazza dei Ciompi open everyday is a quaint market in the Piazza dei Ciompi. If you enjoy exploring for hidden treasures this quiet atmosphere encourages exploration. If you're lucky to be in town on the fourth Sunday of the month, the piazza opens to a much larger market. 

First weekend of the month: Arezzo. An hour by train from either of Florence's stations.

Second weekend of the month: Lucca. An hour from Florence by train.

Third weekend of the month: Fortezza da Basso, Florence.

Fourth weekend of the month: Piazza Ciompi.

15:00 If you haven't noticed, most shops outside the very center of town are closed on Sunday. While for most of you it's an unaccustomed inconvenience it provides a way to make one day of the week different from the rest. It's a day Italians devote to family and who can criticize that. However frustrating it is not to be able to shop The Mall is open everyday. Consider a walk on the outskirts of Florence. The #7 bus goes up to Fiesole where you can enjoy spectacular views of the city. 

19:00 A before dinner drink before dinner at Vinandro in Fiesole before a taxi ride home.

Day 3

10:00 Now that you've become familiar with the side of the Arno River most tourists visit, it's time to go to the wilder side, or Oltrarno. This neighborhood is to Florence what the Left Bank is to Paris. You'll find the more avantgarde boutiques away from the big name brands of Via Tornabuoni. Places like Luca on Via Serragli 16R for interior decor, or  Riccardo Barthel on Via Serragli.

Enjoy an authentic Thai massage at Silathai on Via De Serragli, 63r. These masseuses are trained in Thailand and are wonderful. It's a pitty we don't take advantage of a great massage more often.

16:00 Visit Il Bisonte, a high end local leather maker. Briefcases, bags, wallets and more makes up their collection. Check out UB for funky, original ideas and concepts in interior decorating.

20:30 Make sure to rsvp at La Cucchietta, in Le Cura neighborhood. Their fusion cuisine is a new and growing trend in Florence. Their tastes are original and tourists are more difficult to come by. Specialties include their Burrata cheese appetiser and vegetable souflés. The staff is attentive and friendly.