A lovely, lively, hilltop village immersed in rolling countryside, Palaia straddles two deep valleys. Negotiate the winding country roads, pull up in front of the big stone clock tower by the town hall and there it is – the unassuming façade which leads to Palazzo Cecchi Serragli. Through an inner courtyard, up 35 stone steps (no lift – this is for the sprightly!), to arrive on the second floor. Enter a living room with a sofa and two armchairs, a state-of-the-art kitchenette is set back under an arch. A staircase leads to a marble and stone bathroom and a pretty mezzanine. A small, comfortable bedroom and a further bathroom overlook the inner courtyard. Perhaps the greatest treat awaits via the mezzanine… up a further staircase, narrow and steep, and a further, even narrower, outside stair, to a roof terrace with a sensational view – to Pisa, Volterra and vine-braided hills. It’s a heavenly spot for a bask in the sun, a glass of wine or a quiet read. Hike the marked trails, visit Tuscany’s treasures, then back for a swim in the little garden, and a delectable wild boar casserole in Restaurant Bacciomeo.