What a view! Just a 20-minute wend up from the coast, through olive groves to the little town of Casanova Lerrone, then up some more to this cherry of a 19th-century villa – on a clear day you can see all the way to the Cinque Terre. And what a place: wisteria and jasmine romp over it, formal and walled gardens surround it and inside are three charming suites (with excellent bathrooms). Il Giardino, the smallest, opens onto the main garden, with rustic-style La Campagna one floor above. La Terrazza tops the lot, its light and airy sitting room opening onto a fabulous eyrie of a terrace. You breakfast at one table at the heart of the rambling villa, or in the garden, on homemade jams, local honey and eggs. You can stay peacefully put and smell the roses, meditate in the private chapel, or rent a scooter, arrange a packed lunch and set off to explore lovely Liguria; linger in market tows, taste local wines, swim in crystal rivers. Nothing’s a problem for your French and German hosts. Back in Europe after a stint in the States, they’ll look after you with kind professionalism – there’s even a pillow menu.