In open, rolling countryside dotted with olive groves, cypresses and umbrella pines, Alessandra’s Umbrian home overlooks the Val de Chiana and is full of light and good taste. It’s built from the warm russet brick typical of the area, with lichen-coloured shutters at the French windows. A lavender and rosemary hedge separates the neat lawn from the pool area with its elegant wrought iron loungers, terracotta pots, plumbago, roses, jasmines. A Fragola vine romps over the pergola on the front terrace where you linger over breakfasts of excellent homemade jams and local breads and plan your day: water sports on Lake Trasimeno? Antique markets in Arezzo? Wine-tasting in Montepulciano? Alessandra’s super-knowledgeable and will advise. Then relax in the sitting room with its English country feel under chestnut beams: comfy seating by the wood-burning stove, antiques, rugs, table lamps, family photos. Invitingly pretty, south-facing bedrooms are cottage-style with white-washed beams, soft, floaty and swagged curtains, florals, pastels, embroidered bedspreads – and bright, spotless bathrooms. A happy Anglo/Italian fusion.