In 1353, the son of Dante, who had been exiled in Verona, bought Casal dei Ronchi near Gargagnago, and there his direct descendants have lived ever since. Today, overseen by Count Pieralvise Serego Alighieri, the estate is a prosperous producer of Valpolicella wines (much improved in recent years and shaking off their ‘cheap and nasty’ reputation) as well as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, jams and rice. The family home is a lovely yellow ochre building fronted by formal gardens which overlook the vineyards. Beyond are the former stables, now beautifully converted to make eight apartments, simple yet sophisticated, sleeping two to four people. In each one you find a gleaming chrome kitchen, country furniture, soothing green cotton fabrics, white walls, marble bathrooms. No. 8 spirals up a slim tower: minute sitting room, stairs to a minute kitchen, more stairs to the bedroom. Open a door in the bedhead and there’s a tiny window behind. No. 1 is the most spacious, with dining table and elegant chairs. Breakfast is served in a room decorated with old family photographs on the ground floor. Wine tasting can be arranged for eight people or more. There are some good restaurants nearby.