A courtyard heavy with the scent of jasmine leads to a pair of mile-high, gleaming doors: welcoming you to this opulent, 17th-century palazzo, which dominates the small village. You have a portion of the summer house of the delightful Fasoli family, wonderfully easy-going and kind. Signore is a particularly passionate ambassador for this unsung area, a font of knowledge on historic villas, day trips to Como and Lecco, and shopping in Milan. The gracious, ground-floor rooms are yours… but you’re most likely to be lured by the captivating, tiered, Italianate garden where formal hedging, urns and romantic pathways lead inexorably to a sublime pool – large enough to do a few laps (and there’s a pool house with a tiny kitchen if you fancy a lazy day in). Bedrooms, on the same floor as your hosts, are of the romantic variety with a touch of whimsy – “Laura Ashley meets Alice in Wonderland” says our inspector – while the double with the en suite has a vaulted ceiling bright with frescoed cherubs. Cooks will be happy with the cheery blue and white kitchen – breakfast here or on the atmospheric patio shaded by ancient trees.