Lecce ‘The Florence of the South’ is an architectural treasure. White stone on Baroque façades against intense blue skies… dazzling. Keep the faith as you follow the directions through narrow alleys to a tiny square in which Italian drivers perform ingenious manoeuvring feats. You’ll spot the house immediately – pots of wildly colourful flowers spilling from every sill, succulents trailing from balconies like Rapunzel’s hair. No need to climb up though: Elisabetta will welcome you like an old friend and take you past her floor to the apartments. Each has its own heavenly terrace – flower-filled oases on which to laze and gaze at the wonders of Lecce (some of her guests have found it hard to go exploring, preferring a shady corner with a good book!). Peaceful rooms are traditionally furnished with a few modern touches, bathrooms are spotless, little kitchens have welcome hampers. Breakfast – a treat – is left at the door in a basket: freshly squeezed juice, a tin of warm croissants, a little glass pot of yogurt and fruits and jams from Elisabetta’s country house. Just wonderful.