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Al fresco tippling in Florence

With the legendary winemaking region of Tuscany nearby, of course the Florentines drink plenty of wine. Even in their cocktails.

“Florentines generally love and drink wine - white, red, sparkling,” confirms Tiziana Frescobaldi. As representative of Italian winery Marchesi de'Frescobaldi, she certainly understands Florence's affinity for vino.

'It seems it's more difficult to tell how much youre drinking from a curved glass.'. Credit: AFP

In fact, two of Florence's favourite aperitivos rely on Prosecco, Italy's sparkling wine, as a primary ingredient: The peach-flavoured Bellini and the orangey Aperol Spritz.

Among the places to enjoy these bubbly drinks, Frescobaldi recommends Rosati Caffè (http://www.rosatibar.it/) in Piazza della Signoria. An al fresco tipple at the most iconic square in the city makes for a rather special experience.

Indeed, eating and drinking al fresco is one of the city's many great pleasures.

Additional picks for business travellers include Cibreo (http://www.cibreo.com/) in the San Ambrogio market; Fabio Picci's acclaimed restaurant; and the iconic Harry's Bar (http://www.harrysbarfirenze.it/). (Note: Harry's Bar in Venice, rather than Florence, is credited with creating the Bellini.)

Another pick, the Westin Excelsior (http://www.westinflorence.com) in Piazza Ognissanti is known for its exceptional view, but Frescobaldi warns that it is “mainly for foreigners; very few Italians around.”

For a more local feel, seek out Caffè Giacosa (http://www.caffegiacosa.it/), owned by fashion icon Roberto Cavalli and frequented by stylish types. Some say the best cappuccino in town is to be found here - a high compliment in this espresso-fuelled city - and after dark during the warmer months, the venue transitions into a nightclub.

Frescobaldi also recommends the recently opened Rivalta Cafe (http://www.rivaltacafe.it/) for a wine-based aperitivo in true Florentine style: al fresco, of course. - Reuters

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