In a corner of the hall is a carving of a swaddled baby – 14th-century evidence of the hospital this once was. The newest, most stylish rooms are in the recently renovated palazzo, linked by a terrace with views of Chiantishire. The hotel sits on the main street of beautiful old Radda, strolling distance to several enoteche – sample the fine chiantis. The whole place, on several levels and full of nooks and corners, starts with the main hall, large and lofty, with white-painted arches and bright rugs on a terracotta floor; drift onto the terrace for sunsets and views. Bedrooms range from large suites with balconies overlooking the valley to smaller doubles up ancient stone stairs (no lift). All are comfortable, elegant, traditional; some have the old servants’ bell-pulls, others wood-fired stoves and frescoes. A remarkable breakfast is served in a remarkable kitchen, replete with an 18th-century range: not a bad setting for a cookery course. Add to that kind, courteous staff, an excellent restaurant, and an indoor pool and spa. Well worth the steep, winding road to get here.