The legendary Italian gift for marrying ancient and modern is alive and well in Casa della Pia (a character in Dante’s Purgatorio). Layered into the 1000-year-old walls, the owners’ restoration of the top floor of the palazzo is pristinely elegant and effortlessly cool. They are outgoing, passionate about their house and artistic to their fingertips. Costanza ran art academies and your bedroom is hung with Gian Paolo’s excellent watercolours. The guest room, separate from their quarters, has a cheerful new shower room and a fabulous view over rooftops to the Maremma hills and out to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is big, with ‘Nonna’s’ lovely antique furniture round a working fireplace and a fine new bed: turn your head and watch the sun set in glory. Coffee, tea and biscuits are provided but no breakfast may be served: seize the opportunity to explore the many caffès on the same street – and Massa Marittima, a jewel of a medieval town with a star-shaped piazza at its heart. Beyond, discover forests and Etruscan ruins, wineries (some designed by world-famous architects), beaches and geothermal sites where the earth breathes out magic mists.