Jasmine-scented gardens and green lawns reach to Lake Garda’s edge: lounge here, drinking in the views, and drop down the ladder to the sparkling water, said to be the purest in Italy. There’s also a small beach 100 yards away. The hotel stands, a feast of colour and design, against the steep, wooded foothills of Mount Baldo. It was bought by the Arosio family as a summer home in 1925. They were piano-makers from Lodi – note the original piano in the music room – and in the 1950s turned the house into a guesthouse. Today it is a small, restful, civilised hotel with that light 1920s charm. The entire family, parents and sons, are delightful. Some bedrooms have been renovated – frescoes were uncovered in the process – and are beautiful, with distinctive Empire antiques, exquisite floor tiles, muslin billowing at French windows and superior Edwardian-style bathrooms. Many have balconies or terraces. Others, more functional, less charming – and cheaper – await regeneration. In summer you eat under the trees, by candlelight, surrounded by lemon and olive trees – they produce wonderful olive oil.