Take a Tuscan country house that just happens to be at the gates of Florence, renovate it with postmodern minimalist chic into eight studio apartments, and you have Riva Lofts, opened in December 2006 by architect Claudio Nardi and his daughter Alice. It’s a 30-minute hike from the city center, looking across the Arno to the Cascine Park, but the style and relaxing atmosphere make it worth the remove. The Nardis balance neo-hippie elements—yoga mats, vegetal bathroom products by Marie Danielle—and almost monastically simple rooms with luxurious comforts: warm, shimmering quilts by Signoria di Firenze, upholstered vintage furnishings, and kitchenettes where you can brew herbal tea. The garden, with its 43-foot-long heated pool and hammocks, makes for a perfect country-in-the-city break. Reception is from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Insider Tip: Grab one of the free vintage bikes. You’ll need it to get to the city center, 1.5 miles away.
Room to Book: Though it’s the smallest and least expensive, No. 3 has a tiny rooftop deck.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.