Look out for the sculpture of the leaping horse and rider: once you’ve found it, you’ve arrived! This sober stone farmhouse, set in a dreamy Piero della Francesca landscape and imaginatively restored, is one of the most atmospheric we have seen. Rescued from a state of near-total collapse, it has been a labour of love for Luca and Laura, who live in Milan but come here in the holidays, with children, dog, rabbit and (one day soon) hens. Laura does the cooking and brings breakfast – fruit, yogurt, sweet cakes, muffins – to a white-clothed table by a great stone fireplace, crackling with logs in winter. The look is contemporary, beautiful and in harmony with the casale’s Renaissance origins. White or ochre walls contrast with ancient beams, polished chestnut furniture sits on old terracotta, fine muslin hangs at white windows. Up the wide tiled stair are serene bedrooms with heated floors and views of the Marchegiana hills; the self-catering studios are on the ground floor, with patios. Visit Urbino: a glory. Return to lawns, fruit trees, views, and a pond with fish and a frog or two (Laura’s passion!).