In a sentence that’s so gross even I’m repulsed: a few years back I lived in Tuscany while writing a novel. When I say ‘lived’, I mean schlepped around from B&B to B&B, from Lucca to San Gimignano, Forte dei Marmi to Florence, for six weeks. But still, it counts for something. Oh no, no, no, you mustn’t call me a local, it’s too much, basta, basta!

Florence swiftly stole my heart, the old dog. That’s its thing; it’s a heart-stealer, an extremely pretty, romantic city boasting an exciting history, art superstars, terrific food, world-class shopping and breathtakingly long queues for nude statues. (Also, in July, far too many tourists, but as one of them, even a local one, I’m not meant to say that.)

As it happens each time I fall off a plane, I Goog everything from ‘finest Negroni in Florence’ to ‘best gelato in Florence’ to ‘local favourite pizza Florence.’ I need to know what’s best, old and new. If I’m in a city for only a few days, there is no time for a bad meal. They each must be sensational, lest my holiday slip below a 100% perfection rating. (Airports and, yknow, actual travel in general notwithstanding.)

And not a bad meal was had. Here are my favourites, perfect if you only have a few days and a stomach with a perfectionist complex:

Write-a-blog-about-it level ricotta cheesecake: Osteria Buongustai

This is a teeny, local-loved joint just back from Piazza della Republica (the big square with the antique carousel that must be ridden, no matter your age) serving delicious panini and very delicious spinach and ricotta crepes in dark, crowded, loud chaos but the homemade, warm baked ricotta cheesecake slapped in front of us with zero fanfare, was the stuff of dreams. We went back three times. Three.