At the end of a short country road… a dream of a house in dreamy grounds. Mirrors dance from trees, shells clink softly in the wind and views stretch for miles. Hillside villages to one side, long plains to the other, gentle valley in front of you, and almond trees, cypresses, gazebos and terraces all on different levels. As for the house, it is equally enticing, with four storeys, big stairs sweeping you up and down, and fascinating Roman cellars below. Ask Gilly or Dale about wine tastings – no request is too great for this lovely English family who live nearby. You get a big kitchen at the top and a small kitchen down – both geared up for good chefs – and a pizza oven and a huge barbecue. And Gilly’s veg patch to plunder. Floors are old terracotta, bathrooms have great big mirrors and bedrooms are beautiful with wood floors and pastels. Sofas, books, games, iPod dock, satellite TV – all yours, and a divine pool. You’re right in the centre of a protected nature reserve yet thrillingly close to Città di Castello (shops, restaurants, bars), and the path taken by St Francis on his walk from La Verna to Assisi.