• Residence Hilda (Via dei Servi 40, Florence; www.residencehilda.it; tel. 055-288-021): Step off the Renaissance square of Santissima Annunziata right into the 21st century at this apartment building, where clean, contemporary design is complemented by high-quality modern conveniences. Add hotel amenities to those cool, airy spaces, stripped-wood floors, and cream walls and fabrics, then throw in a management team who can't do enough to help you out, and you have just about the perfect Florence accommodation package. Oh, and did we mention it's just 2 blocks from the Duomo?
  • L'Antico Pozzo (Via San Matteo 87, San Gimignano; www.anticopozzo.com; tel. 0577-942-014): This is central San Gimignano's best hotel, set in a restored 15th-century palace built into the palazzo where Dante stayed during his diplomatic visit to town. Inquisition trials are no longer held here, but you can get an enormous junior suite with a canopied bed or 17th-century frescoed ceilings, or a top-floor double with views of the city's towers.
  • Villa de' Fiori (Via di Bigiano e Castel Bovani 39, Pistoia; www.villadefiori.it; tel. 0573-450-351): Hiding amid the olive groves just north of Tuscany's most underrated little city is this former grand residence turned agriturismo-hotel. The place's rustic charm remains intact -- few pieces of antique furniture properly match, and there are reminders everywhere that this was once the hub of a working estate. The friendly family that runs the hotel only adds to the refined, yesteryear atmosphere, and the breakfast buffet (served in the country kitchen) is one of the best in all Tuscany.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.