The heady smell of orange blossom on a warm breeze greets you at the gates to animal-lover Lorenzo’s organic farm, where he and his wife live with five adopted dogs. Around the 18th-century farmhouse stretch the grounds: succulent plants, palms and oaks, cotton bushes and citrus trees provide a deliciously sensory setting for the large pool. Laid-back Lorenzo has created an alluring retreat with an appeal that comes from its disarming simplicity – a charming touch of the ascetic in the aesthetics – but which artfully combines old and new: tiled floors, simple colour schemes in the bedrooms, arched windows with shutters, exposed stone walls, vintage painted furniture… even a couple of rooms with no TV, and all complemented by smart modern bathrooms. Breakfasts (and dinner) are organic and vegetarian with lots of farm produce, from freshly baked bread to homemade juice and jams (grapefruit, orange and cinnamon, lemon…). Shops and restaurants are just a couple of miles down the road, Siracusa is within easy distance, bikes can be hired and several natural reserves popular with bird watchers are close by.