Food is king here, slow food: genuine home cooking with home-grown fruit and veg from Roberta and, in the restaurant, gastronomic lore from Ercole. Echoing the movement to revive lost medieval traditions, they are passionate about wild herbs and ‘forgotten’ fruits. Take a cookery course (included if you stay three nights). The prosciutto from rare-breed maiale medievale is delicious; breakfast is a feast of homemade delights; dinner a leisurely treat served in the cosy little log-fired restaurant. The inn (albergo diffuso) occupies a stunning spot in a quiet town in the Mugello valley, surrounded by rolling hills… there are guided walks through the woods, gastronomic meanders through the valley. Ask for James, who is on hand to give local tips and advice in English. Bedrooms are pretty with country antiques; splash out on a suite if you can; they’re in the 17th-century building with original fireplaces. Roberta and Ercole are very proud of their wellbeing centre, too – the jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath have a delicious, calming aroma. Steps lead up to a pool with an amazing view; body and soul are nurtured; walkers are in heaven. Special indeed.