Wend your way up to the fortified village of Montone, closed to traffic and impeccably preserved. On one of its steepest alleys is the locanda of the ‘Captain’, Giancarlo Polito – economist, photographer, hotelier and chef straordinario. Passionate about life, history, everything, he adores showing off his village and his home, loves talking about food and knows every producer in Umbria. Enter the wrought-iron gate off the street and trot up the steps to reception. Spill onto the front terraces for conversation, relaxation and the sound of the church bells, feast on wines and cheeses in Tipico, their ‘cave’ next door, or set sail for the dining room, elegant and charming, with bow-backed chairs and an antique piano. The food is beautiful and full of surprises, combined tastes to awaken the senses accompanied by 400 wines. Cooking classes, truffle hunts, visits to wineries and producers, Perugia, Assisi, Bevagna and Montefalco: history and gastronomy combine. Then it’s back to decorative iron beds on parquet floors and salmon and soft-green hues. Ask for a room with a balcony and a view.