Umbria is known as ‘the green heart of Italy’. As you gaze out from your private terrace to olive groves and wooded hills, in the midst of hibiscus, lavender and oleander-filled gardens, you’ll know why. With two young children of their own, Anita and Paul (who live in the apartment downstairs) know just what parents need on a precious break and have thought of everything, from hand-blenders and night lights to a safely fenced pool to… no need to travel with 100kg of excess baggage! Those without children in tow will love these spaces too, with their rough stone walls, new rustic terracotta floors and lively splashes of magenta and carmine in soft furnishings adding a contemporary edge. And this is a great place to stay with an extended party, as the apartments can be linked yet everyone keeps their independence. Walks from the door along the river are dreamy and if you can tear yourselves away, Perugia – with its July jazz festival – is only 20 minutes. Umbertide, even closer, is a great little place for restaurants and shops. Take a book to the hammock, raise a glass to Umbria.