Down winding Tuscan lanes with perfect Tuscan views, through wrought-iron gates that glide open to greet you, you enter a courtyard ‘twixt an old mill and a 16th-century villa. Discover majestic cedars in the garden, a spacious pool surrounded by lawns, smartly furnished patios scattered here and there and the Cecchinis’ olive groves beyond: the first impression is wonderful. And then there’s Caterina, who looks after you all with her big open smile. Welcome to self-catering with a difference: breakfast, served at large tables beneath chunky beams, is included in the price, and lunches and dinners are on request (gluten-free if you wish). All feels genuine, friendly and family-run, with two generations living in the main villa and the old mill beautifully renovated: guest apartments above, dining areas below. The apartments are Italian traditional, each individual and pleasing, with pretty curtains and peaceful colours, each as neat as a new pin. La Casina, a Hansel & Gretel cottage in the garden, is the choice of romantics – and free bikes for guests are a boon.