The birds sing, the wind whispers, the views reach across a valley unchanged for centuries. In the distance is Livorno and the twinkling sea: on a fine day you can see the isle of Capraia. The house, once a hunting lodge, is built into the hill, surrounded by olive groves and orchards. Part of the vast estate of Tenuta di Forci, 15 minutes from Lucca, it is rented by Carlo and Stefania, warm, generous, cultured and charming. They are full of plans for their enterprise (yoga, mountain treks, guest chefs, summer cinema), and passionate about the area: the restaurants, vineyards, architecture, Lucca. Downstairs is a cantina for tastings and a spa-in-the-offing; upstairs are the guest suites (bar one); in between is the salone, uncluttered, Tuscan, with arched doorways and fine art books on every table. Lovely weathered terracotta tiles run throughout, the loggia is furnished with 1920s wicker (Carlo is in antiques) and the beds – crafted by Venetian artisans – are positioned to take in the view (as is the outdoor jacuzzi). As for breakfast, it’s a beautiful feast served on fine china under a straw roof for shade.