There’s no completely escaping the throngs of tourists in Florence, but you’ll get a little reprieve if you stay at the elegant Ad Astra hotel, which overlooks the Giardino Torrigiani, Europe’s largest private city garden. The hotel is located in Oltrarno, the stylish, less crowded neighborhood across the Arno, close to hip boutiques and cafés, the Pitti Palace, and the excellent Trattoria Cammillo. (All that, and just a 15-minute walk across the Ponte Vecchio to the Uffizi and the Duomo). When you’re ready for rolling hills and wide-open spaces, rent a car and drive two hours south to the minimalist chic La Bandita Countryhouse. Visit nearby hill towns and go wine tasting in Montepulciano, or simply sit by the pool and take in the views of Tuscany’s bucolic Val D’Orica.