Turn off a country road, through a farm, deep into woodland and, just as you give up hope, the trees clear to reveal a sturdy farmhouse, all soft grey stone and sage-green shutters. No sounds other than birdsong, no buildings other than a distant farmhouse; just forested hills and Paolo’s magnificent rose garden. He and Daniela – plus Gina, their retriever – welcome you as friends. Paolo takes you round his gardens; Daniela shares family recipes in the cosy kitchen during her cookery courses. Rooms are light-filled and rustic – tiles, beams, antiques – warmed with boldly painted door-frames and colourful ceramics. Pretty bedcovers, sloping ceilings and tranquil views add charm to (small-ish) bedrooms; bathrooms make elegant use of tight spaces. Relax in the comfy lounge or outside in the courtyard with its green views and pergola-shaded table. Be tardy over shared breakfasts – homemade bread and cakes – while planning walks, or trips to Siena and Chianti vineyards. Paolo worked in tourism so is knowledgeable. Return for a swim before enjoying one of Daniela’s (occasional) dinners or sizzle up a barbecue. Intoxicating peace.