The charming medieval town of Tuscania is full of narrow streets and archways, passageways, shops and coffee bars; best to park outside and arrive on foot through the old city gate. Step into the entrance hall, with oil painting and antique armchairs, then up steep granite stairs to the first-floor apartment. There’s a marble buffet for simple meals in the sitting room/kitchen, a large bedroom at the back for sound sleep and a tiny shower room. The second-floor apartment has a private entrance, or you can continue up from the first floor if you rent both. It has a larger living room, separate kitchen with fold-out table, good size bathroom with washing machine and a big bed in the loft room above. Vivacious American owner Ann lives nearby and has chosen well – an eclectic mix of furniture, gilt mirrors, oriental rugs, original artworks and dollops of colour. You’re on the Tuscany and Umbria borders; find elegant papal palaces in every surrounding village, visit hot springs and Etruscan tombs, join one of the many hiking trails, or book yoga at a nearby studio or water sports on a volcanic lake. Rome is only an hour away.