Rumour has it that a temple dedicated to Venus lies in the grounds of this rust-red Veronese house – something to consider over abundant homemade breakfasts on the lawn. Selva Borquez, a true polyglot, welcomes you with fresh-baked cakes and a lovely smile. You arrive down a majestic cypress-lined drive – such a surprise! – and there is the farmhouse (beyond is a villa); join hares and squirrels for peaceful bimbles in generous grounds or lounge in the pool during the summer months. The atmospheric breakfast room is cosy beneath its low chunky beams, while a Persian rug perches on the mezzanine beside a sofa with computer, maps, DVDs and toys. Delightful colour-coordinated bedrooms have superb garden views: catch garden glimpses from the tubs and showers of big bathrooms. The blue room has a generous bed and heirlooms on the walls; the red, decorative iron bedsteads and a well-loved bureau; the yellow, a romantic canopied bed and amazing sunsets. Feast at the friendly local trattoria, marvel at nearby Santa Maria’s 300 AD pantheon, lose yourself amid swaying trees and half-remembered lines from Romeo and Juliet.