This will suit unfussy souls who adore being immersed in nature. You’re miles from any town in the hills of Umbria where country roads wind through agricultural land and dense woods then a bumpy strada bianca takes you down to Alan and Lucia’s remote ivy and wisteria-covered home, one end of which has been converted, very simply. You walk straight in to the compact living room with its pale stone walls, old leather sofa and wood-burner for chilly evenings (there’s a sofa bed for extra people too); a bright country kitchen is at the far end with a wide sink at the window and curtained cupboards underneath. There’s a small bathroom down here too with a large walk-in shower. Up untreated, rustic wooden stairs to two double bedrooms – one en suite, both with a nice outlook. It’s utterly unpretentious and with no frills, so won’t suit style seekers, but this is paradise for serious mountain walkers, birdwatchers and peace-seekers. You’ll find a bottle of wine, veg from the garden and a loaf of homemade bread waiting for you and your own lovely pool with views to cool off in. Alastair would love it here.