Michael Caine was not to be seen driving minis over the Alps but Villa completed a second Italian Job of the week in front of a barely half-full stadium.
Six days after their defeat of Juventus in the Peace Cup it was Emile Heskey who got the only goal hours before he received his expected England call-up for Wednesday’s friendly fixture in Holland.
But perhaps the most pleasing aspect for Martin O’Neill, apart from a debut for Fabian Delph that oozed promise, was a second clean sheet.
“We scored a brilliant goal and played some great stuff,” a satisfied O’Neill enthused.
All eyes were on £6 million signing Delph who shone for an hour and a quarter following his move from Leeds United.
Fellow new arrival Habib Beye was nowhere to be seen but there were starting places for the first time this summer for England U21 trio James Milner, Craig Gardner and Gabby Agbonlahor.
U19 striker Nathan Delfouneso also joined the action as one of a number of second half subs.
It was hardly up there with Villa’s dismantling of Inter Milan two summers ago, nor was there any trophy on offer, but Villa were worthy winners although they had to survive a missed penalty and the Italians hitting the woodwork after the break.
Heskey had given Villa an early lead from Ashley Young’s square ball in front of the North Stand but the visitors looked set to equalise only for Peace Cup spot-kick hero Brad Guzan, on as a half-time sub, to again be in the right place to save Alberto Gilardino’s half-hearted effort after diving to his right.
The penalty award had been harsh on Villa in any case with Marco Marchionni’s cross appearing to strike another sub, Curtis Davies, on the chest and not the top of the arm.
Fiorentina were the fourth best team in Italy last season but clearly, like Inter before them, were behind Villa in their preparations.
Villa started brightly with Milner lashing a half-volley over the crossbar from fully 25 yards.
Gardner’s fierce low free kick fizzed through the wall from the edge of the area after Agbonlahor had Cesare Natali all in a muddle competing for a hanging ball. The rather too lackadaisical Italians survived that scare but within 60 seconds were behind.
Ashley Young ghosted to the byline on the left edge of the penalty area and his pull-back was met by Heskey with a low finish at the near post.
Gardner could easily have made it 2-0 when he ran onto Heskey’s through ball but got a weak connection and side-footed well wide.
Villa thereafter continued to force the pace with a poor clearance from Sebastien Frey sailing straight to Craig Gardner whose low shot rebounded back off the keeper to safety.
Nicky Shorey appealed for a penalty under a push from Gianluca Comotto as he tried to reach Milner’s short pass.
Young picked the ball up from the half-way line and escaped his marker with a well-timed nudge before advancing into the box.
But his shot lacked real conviction and was deflected in any case making Frey’s save an easy one. Milner produced a thunderous shot from 20 yards which was much more of a test for Frey.
Peace Cup golden boy Marc Albrighton and Curtis Davies joined Guzan into the action at half-time in place of Young and Carlos Cuellar.
The visitors opened the half well with Juan Manuel Gamberini crossing for Alberto Gilardino whose close-range header was pushed behind by Guzan.
Villa made four changes on the hour and quickly upped a gear with Frey saving well from Nathan Delfouneso who had replaced Agbonlahor.
John Carew, Nigel Reo-Coker and Steve Sidwell were also brought into the game and the latter was soon causing problems with Dario Dainelli booked for a trip.
Jovetic hit the crossbar with a header and then found the net with the rebound but referee Peter Walton had already blown for an infringement.
Villa (4-4-2): Friedel (Guzan,h/t); Lichaj, Cuellar (Davies,h/t), Clark, Shorey; A Young (Albrighton,h/t), Delph (Lowry,78), Milner (Reo-Coker,60), Gardner (Sidwell,60); Agbonlahor (Delfouneso,60), Heskey (Carew,60).
Fiorentina (4-4-2): Frey; Comotto, Gamberini (Dainelli,h/t), Natali, Pasqual (Gobbi,h/t); Marchionni (Baracar,76), Donadel (Kuzmanovic, 61), Montolivo (Jorgensen,76), Vargas (Di Tacchio,86); Gilardino (Santana,76), Jovetic. Subs: Avramov, Seculin.