As you turn down the estate’s driveway, ancient breeds of cattle and horse pause their grazing, and geese and hens shuffle out of your way. You have arrived at the home of one of Italy’s most cherished salami producers, the Spigarolis, who opened their relais with the intention of winning tourists over to the gastronomy of the region. Elegant guest rooms nod to the past in their traditional guise, but have an exquisitely modern edge thanks to their round zinc basins, medusa-like lamps whose bulbs cascade to the floor, and delicious poplar-wood decked showers. Days can be spent in the kitchen with inspiring Massimo learning how to chop and stir, or out exploring the area on one of the estate’s bikes. But you cannot leave without visiting the castle’s famed cellars, where thousands of culatelli di Zibello and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses are left to age. Savour both delights at either of the family’s two restaurants here. Then finish your day with an aromatic bath in your suite’s tub, next to the glowing fire. Look forward to fresh brioches at breakfast beneath frescoed ceilings.