Beat the hordes by staying in this glorious spot just a few kilometres from lovely Lake Garda. You get the best of all worlds here: utter peace and space with huge grounds – woods, olive and fruit trees, manicured lawns and wonderful views – a short hop from the popular watery stuff: wind and kite surfing, sailing, canoeing. This is Ferruccio and Chiara’s country escape so most of the time they’ll be on hand to welcome you to your peaceful beamed holiday house, which they renovated from an old stable and barn. You enter through huge doors, bedrooms and bathrooms are on this level, the open-plan living/dining/kitchen space is upstairs. Neat, smallish, thick-walled bedrooms are deliciously cool places to escape the midday sun; upstairs it’s light-filled and comfortable with an L-shaped sofa, a stylish, well-equipped kitchen and a dining table overlooking the pool. You share the pool with the owners but have your own changing area and after settling you in you’re left to get on with it. Find a shady spot to read your book, visit the charming family church, head out for supper in lakeside Salò. Fab.