It’s self-catering but you’re beautifully looked after: the housekeepers live in the grounds; they’ll pick you up from the airport or train station and give you a delicious breakfast each morning of freshly baked bread, jams, juices and fruit. You can also request a gourmet picnic, or lunch and dinner by arrangement. If you prefer to cook yourselves the kitchens are small, modern and practical with all the gear you need and a bottle of bubbly.
Both villas have magnificent drawing rooms with views over the water, outdoor spaces for wonderful al fresco meals, formal gardens filled with giant bamboo and Japanese maple; find a waterfall, a wisteria tunnel and a boat you can use to cross the lake.
The vintage Land Rover can whisk you to Lake Maggiore in five minutes, or there’s an elegant motor boat which you can take out yourself or ask for a guide. You’re a short walk from the village.