Kate Swinburn – London UK

The accommodation is stylish and completely practical (well equipped - even a food mixer to make our daily fresh fruit smoothies!). You have everything you need if you want to spend your time solely in the villa - very much a home from home. You can venture further afield to the pool! which is surrounded by trees and a good size - we spent many hours beside it, and in it doing lengths and playing - easily big enough for both.

Or you can visit local villages and towns and immerse yourself in what Umbria has to offer. We kept fairly local and enjoyed checking out the recommendations of Dennis and Gilly - ice cream parlours, restaurants, bars, foods and wine, markets, supermarkets and shops. Dennis and Gilly are fabulous hosts...attentive yet unobtrusive (though simultaneously 100% available to support us to make the most of our stay). Its a difficult balance (we like our holidays to be our own), but it was like staying with friends.

I believe you can access Siena etc. easily from the villa but it is such a beautiful house & gardens that we choose to spend our time in the villa, with forays out in the cooler evenings. The locals are really welcoming. Best evening? Fantastic open air concert of Verdi's Requiem in Anghiari (joint Italian- English orchestra and choir) - 21 year old enjoying his 1st ever classical concert enough to record bits of it on his mobile! And very flexible accommodation.