Described as an ‘elegant residence’ in 1427, this secluded farm manor in the hills of Fiesole makes you feel you’ve stepped back 600 years. Its bold yellow façade peeks out from 1,500 organic olives which, thanks to friendly Silvia, produce high quality extra virgin olive oil and olive soaps. Passionate about sustainability, Silvia and her husband renovated the building the traditional way: local ‘pietra serena’ and limestone, Tuscan fabrics, mosaics. Intact are the stable doors and mangers, trussed beams, oil jars, steps and terracotta that give the large rooms their character. The rest is fresh and modern, from slinky sinks and cylindrical showers to monogrammed linen on big comfy beds. Silvia’s homemade cakes at breakfast might tempt you to book a Tuscan cooking course followed by dinner on the terrace, where views tumble over olive groves towards Florence. Vegetables are from the garden, water from the spring, heat from a ground source pump, energy from the sun. Head to the city centre for the day (the nearest bus stop is just over a kilometre, the train station three), carry a picnic into the hills or wander through Fiesole, whose history dates to the Etruscans.