A fallen column lying deep in the grass, woods, a quiet lake… so peaceful it’s hard to believe what a history this settlement has had since it was first recorded in 1075. It is set in a huge natural amphitheatre, ringed by hills and medieval fortresses, and has its own magic spring. Once you’ve driven through the big rusty gates and down the tree-lined drive, you’ll be greeted by your hosts in an 11th-century church – part of their private quarters. It’s the most lovely, airy space, with battered columns, soaring arches and elegant furniture – a subtle study in cream, gold and brown. The suites (one a romantic cottage) and the apartments are beautiful too. Each has its own terrace or balcony and is simply furnished with family antiques and fine old paintings. Enchanting windows look over the grounds, the massive walls are rough stone or plaster, the ceilings beamed or vaulted. The 500-hectare estate has been in the family since 1650 and produces its own olive oil and wine. The beautiful panoramic pool has distant views to the Isle of Elba.