The wholegrain bread, the rice cake, the yogurt, jellies and jams: all are homemade. The melons are tasty, the juice freshly squeezed; breakfast under the pergola is a delicious affair. Alice (who offers pasta-making classes) and Gavin, the loveliest couple you could wish to meet, are putting the final touches to an ancient cottage where once three families lived. On a triangle of land shared with hens, ducks and rabbits, flanked by two quiet roads – one to Sestino, the other to their house – Piccionaia is where the pigeons once lived, and Granaio is where the hay was stored. Next to the veg patch is the Bread Oven, which awaits its own transformation; on the terrace below is a small cooling-off pool (50cm deep!) or head off for fabulous wild swimming nearby. You can B&B here or self-cater, in simple kitchens where worktops are made of handsome chestnut planks, and Italian coffee makers take pride of place. In the larger Piccionaia, a perfectly balanced staircase leads to the bedroom upstairs; the shower, sofabed and wood-burner lie below. Towels hang from rustic ladders; white basins sit on recycled tiles; truffle hunts are planned… Wonderful.