In southern Puglia, right down in the heel of Italy, an unpretentious hilltop agriturismo B&B in an historic masseria surrounded by orchards and olive groves. Francesco and his wife returned from Milan to rejuvenate an old family farm and have created an authentic, charming retreat of unfussy rooms around a central courtyard. They are attentive but discreet hosts with an eye for detail. Whitewashed walls, tiled floors and sturdy wooden furniture set the tone. Bathrooms are modern with mosaic walls. Simplicity is the order of the day: yellow and white check tablecloths, geraniums in terracotta pots, rough-hewn stone walls overhung by large prickly pear plants. Breakfasts of fresh local breads, cheese and fruit are served in the dining room or loggia. Borrow a bike and explore coastal tracks, take a boat ride, or visit the beaches of Gallipoli. Pop into town for shops and restaurants: Tricase is just 3km away, then wind down in front of the fire in the open-arched communal living room, the silence broken only by the sound of cicadas. If you’re looking for a calming, uncluttered escape, you’ll love it!