The views simply take your breath away. Glorious gardens tumble below you, almost, it seems, to Como’s lakeshore, a 10-minute walk away. Designer Alice and photographer Giorgio have restored their tall, village house with style and simplicity. A stairway from a quiet courtyard leads up to cool, airy rooms that mix vintage with modern – boudoir chairs and funky lights, recycled window shutters and sleek-tiled showers – against a background of white walls, beamed ceilings and pale wood floors. The two suites have mezzanine areas; all have views over lake or mountains; mind the steps between some rooms and bathrooms! Flowers are everywhere; the garden is heavenly, bursting with roses, colourful flowerbeds, fruit trees and vegetables. Breakfast is served in the pretty converted stable or on the terrace – a homemade spread of bread, cakes, juices and jams, much sourced from the garden. Cruise the lake, explore exotic villas, set off on walks from behind the house. Or relax with your book and a picnic basket under the olive trees, to the sound of birdsong and church bells. Warm, welcoming hosts; a blissfully peaceful hideaway.