After a blissful climb through the Casentino National Park you arrive at a long, double barn (which for centuries housed grain from the valley below) built against a mellow stone farmhouse. Sculptress Jenny has filled both with Italian and English pieces, natural colours, original paintings and sculptures, comfortable places to sit – and fresh flowers. In the family apartment are two en-suite bedrooms with a light and airy sitting room and well-equipped kitchen/diner between. You have your own roof terrace – totally intimate and with stunning vistas: here you can sunbathe, read in the shade, dine under the brightest stars (you can peer through a big reflector telescope too.) Steeply below are terraces of lavender, irises and olives dotted with small sculptures. In the farmhouse is a romantic beamed suite with antiques, a huge fireplace, and a kitchen – available for B&B or self-catered stays. Wander the ancient web of inter-village footpaths, cycle on winding mountain roads, visit the great cities of the Renaissance, take a painting class, eat in the local family-run restaurants that attract clients from Florence to Rome. Wonderful.