The Via degli Dei passes here: a heavenly trek which touches peaks named after Etruscan gods. It is easy to imagine tired hikers’ eyes lighting up at the sight of the whitewashed farmhouse with its fringe of leafy trees – and speeding towards Alessandra’s heartwarming welcome. But it’s not just for walkers. It’s also the perfect launch pad to discover the bustle of Bologna, Florence and Ravenna. Two self-contained apartments, each on their own floor, are accessed separately from the main house. Both are open-plan, with a nifty kitchenette where you can rustle up simple meals. The chunky beams, painted iron panel beds and old-fashioned lamps are set off beautifully against the tiled floors and walls. Plentiful windows let in the light and reveal stunning views of the landscape – particularly breathtaking as you soak in the tub. Or you could do as the Romans, and bathe in one of the clear streams nearby. Your generous hosts serve hearty breakfasts: homemade cakes, eggs, cold cuts from the region, and Pinza – a delicious shortcrust cake. When it’s fine you can eat under the wisteria-laden pergola. Blissful.