Banks of white roses delineate the outdoor terrace, and the vast vaulted reception/sitting room takes your breath away. This imposing palazzo in the Umbrian countryside was built by a cardinal as a resting place for pilgrims to Rome and designed with an urban sophistication. Later, it fell from grace and became a country farmhouse – until Giovanni’s family rescued it, planting vineyards and restoring the buildings. Now a sophisticated minimalism contrasts with 13th-century buttressed walls and big mullioned windows. Bedrooms – split-level suites, mostly – are understatedly luxurious, their mix of antique and chic set against pale oak floors, cream walls and exposed stone. Red, claret and purple cushions add warmth; white linen sheets, bath foams and specialist herb soaps soothe. Meals are served on rainbow china accompanied by the estate’s wines, a new young chef is receiving accolades, and the Dubini brothers, eager to please, are rightly proud of what they have achieved. The pool is dreamy, the views take in vineyards, forests and hills. Discover Orvieto!