It’s a five-minute bus ride to the Duomo, yet the 1892 villa on the Montughi hill stands in large landscaped gardens where songbirds lull you to sleep. The mansard-tower sitting room with sofas, books and views is a lofty place in which to relax, and there’s billiards. Bedrooms, with large windows and wooden shutters, are equally stylish with striking toile de Jouy or checks and dark Tuscan pieces. Interesting, too, are the artefacts – wooden statues and innumerable ivory carvings – gathered from the Fantonis’ days in Africa; the family ran a banana plantation there. Simple breakfast is served outside under an ivy-covered pergola in summer or in the dining room, just off the family’s bright sitting room; over coffee the young, affable Antonio and Giusi – a brother-and-sister team – help you plan your stay. If the city’s treasures start to pall they will organise a day in the vineyards or local pottery villages. There’s parking off the main road and the number 25 bus, which stops outside the gates, will ferry you into the city or up into the hills.