Cut off from western Italy by the Apennines is Le Marche; peaceful, charming and unsought-out. At the top of a steep wooded hill is Monterado, a small medieval town of cobbled streets and fabulous views. Beyond is the sea. On a small square in town, opposite the Castello di Monterado (see previous entry) is a solid old stone building housing six apartments with a contemporary and luxurious feel. One is on the ground floor, two are on the first and two are on the second; one spreads itself over two levels. Lofty walls are plastered white, floors are polished parquet, styling is minimalist, classy and sleek. Guests in the apartment can use the pool in the castle gardens; a buffet breakfast is served daily in the castle. In the town are a handful of restaurants and shops, tennis courts and, in May, a hog roast festival to which locals flock; the region is the home of porchetta. If you want beach resorts with a Sixties feel, then head west for the resorts of Le Marche. After a day’s touring, return to the peaceful garden of the Castello, with its cedar trees and scented roses and, beyond, a landscaped woodland with winding paths.