Up in the Italian Tyrol, here is a vast house – you could waltz round the hall – whose ingenious mix of old and new casts an instant spell: fields before you, mountains behind, creative touches, perfect detailing. Kathrin and Helmuth live here with their young children and are on hand to help. You’ll get a good breakfast at the communal table too: scrambled eggs, fresh bread, yoghurt, their own goat’s cheese, fruit, brioches and cakes – take it on the balcony if you prefer. With 14th-century foundations, the house has been in the Mair family for 200 years but was crumbling when the renovation began. They’ve saved the old structure, adding an annex, new staircases, big attic skylights – even a lift. It is hugely successful. Bedrooms are big, beds are family heirlooms with new bedding, lighting is subtle, designer sofas rub shoulders with old chests. (The attic room with its calf-height beams is for the agile only.) The top-floor sitting room has floor-to-ceiling windows and books galore. Explore Brunico and its museum designed by Zaha Hadid, go hiking, climbing, skiing in winter, return to the calm of this fine house.