Special place, special people, and, behind the plain brown door, a verdant surprise. Off the suburban street is a stunning flagged courtyard rich in jasmine and oranges – ravishing in spring. Now this historic villa, built as a summer retreat for Arturo’s forebears, offers two sober, uncluttered and charming B&B rooms, one facing the courtyard with its own secluded entrance, and the delightful two-bedroom family suite in a building just beyond the garden gates, with views onto the lush and lovely garden of Il Cortile. Dutch Sijtsken is charming and thoughtful, serves delicious meals in the vaulted cellar – a stunningly atmospheric dining room – and is aided in her enterprise by daughters Giovanna (trainee sommelier) and Alessandra (dessert chef extraordinaire). As for the giardinello delle delizie – the ‘little garden of delights’ – it is far from small; indeed weddings are held here in the summer, in among the date palms and the magnolias, the glistening roses and the camellia. Find a deckchair and dream. The family delight in sharing their table and their home with guests – wonderful.