Intriguing, delightful: a fortified Romanesque village in the beauty of the Tuscan hills, whose 800-year-old steps, stones, rafters and tiles remain virtually intact. Today it is a private, uniquely Italian marriage of exquisitely ancient and exemplary modern. Seen from the air it is perfect: a magical maze of paths, nooks and crannies, castellated tower, great octagonal well, a heavy gate that lets the road slip out and tumble down, and breathtaking views. You’re given a map on arrival to help you navigate your way round. No cars, and just one little gift shop, but a chapel, gardens, pool, and old olive press halls for meetings, concerts and breakfasts by the fire. The old storeroom is now a large and airy restaurant with wooded hillside views. As for the Count and Countess, they and their staff look after you beautifully. Bedrooms and apartments are ‘rustic deluxe’ with smart modern furnishings, white-rendered walls, superb rafters, open fireplaces, tiny old doors reached up steep stone staircases; two huge wood-fired furnaces keep everything warm. There’s an ancient ambience, as if time has stood still.