Minimalist modern houses are scattered throughout the grounds, dramatically embedded in the hugely atmospheric medieval village of Marialva with terraces and towers overlooking the garden and sun-decked, umbrella-lined pool – and cotton-swathed day bed. Ancient battlements creep uphill between olive and almond trees; views reach across vines, whitewashed, red-roofed village and imposing castle to shrub-covered hills. A lavish, theatrical feel prevails; rooms are opulently decorated, with fancy fittings, modern art, embroidered linen, bedspreads and rugs made by Paulo’s factory, silk curtains, printed wallpaper, masses of birch panelling, sleek spoiling bathrooms and more cushions than you’ll ever need; immaculate, tasteful, considered. The main house salon, equally impeccable, has a marvellous fireplace, wooden parquet, honesty bar, deep sofas, incense and plenty of reading material. The food is modern regional and you dine regally beneath a huge chandelier gazing out past granite pillars to panoramic views. It’s child-friendly, and there’s masses to see and do in these history-steeped environs.