The long, twisting road to La Stella dances from Modena into the Apennines and this secluded farmhouse set in deepest nature. The reward: magnificent views of Monte Cusna, an enthusiastic welcome, a night-time carpet of stars. No wonder Giampiero and Christine fell for this rural spot by the Tuscan-Emilian National Park, with hiking, biking, a river beach on the Secchia, skiing in winter, stunning mountains year-round. You will fall for it too – if you value tranquillity – and for the house with its chunky stone walls, fire-warmed sitting room, antique piano and breakfast room with chandelier. The bedroom, just as charming, has dainty pillows, a reading corner, an extra bed, and views. Outside, a delicious bite-sized plot of birds, trees, flowers: a taste of what lies beyond. In summer, breakfast out here on cured meats and Christine’s scrumptious pastries. La Stella may be off the beaten path but it is well-positioned between several wonderful cities. For those who love nature: an adventure to arrive, a pleasure to stay… and there’s a restaurant a ten-minute drive.