This is the house that Toni built – or, rather, lovingly revived from ruin. The smallholding sits in a hamlet on the edge of a plain; behind, wonderful, high-wooded hills extend to the Slovenian border, sometimes crossed to gather wild berries. Your lovely hosts have a wonderful family. Simplicity, rusticity and a ‘green’ approach are the keynotes here; so you’ll sample traditional wool-and-vegetable-fibre-filled mattresses. Beds are comfy and blanketed, some with wonderful quilts. You will adore all the open spaces, the animals and the little pool that’s been created by diverting a stream. Relax with a book on a bedroom balcony, or in a distant corner of the garden. Maps are laid out at breakfast, and there are heaps of books on the region; the walking is wonderful, there’s a castle to visit and a river to picnic by. Paola cooks fine dinners using old recipes and their own organic produce. There’s a lovely open fire for cooking, and you dine by candlelight, sometimes to the gentle accompaniment of country songs: Paola was once a singer.