Half an hour from the centre of Turin, deep in lovely countryside and low hills, Villa Cantarana is a beautifully restored 18th-century house split into a two-level residence for six, a smaller first floor apartment and the owner’s home. Guests might find themselves strolling in the gently sloping gardens, cooking over a barbecue tucked away in the hazelnut grove or swimming in the lovely natural pool. Kindly owner Signora Cavallo has an eye to eco-friendly energy and has installed solar panels, a heat source pump and natural filters for the swimming pool water, so no stinging chlorine here. It’s perfect for small groups who love peace and quiet (riding and golf on hand) – but who might want to up the pace with dinner, shopping or sightseeing in lively Chieri or stately Turin. The Casa Martini museum is ten minutes away, for mixology or Vermouth masterclasses; in Turin the Museo del Cinema and the Egyptian and automobile museums are impressive, and there are bargains to be found at the huge Porta Palazzo market. The wine growing and white truffle areas of Piedmont are now a UNESCO world heritage site, an hour north are Alpine slopes.