There are some very posh and quite private places in Italy that don't exactly go out of their way to advertise: ancient castles and estates in Tuscany, sixteenth-century palazzos in Venice, and exquisite chateaus like the mountaintop Villa Beccaris in Piemonte pictured here.
In Italian Hideaways: Discovering Enchanting Rooms and Private Villas, out next week, Meg Nolan, formerly of the International Herald Tribune's Milan bureau, takes us on an armchair tour of the best of them. Take a look at the gallery below for an exclusive preview, and start saving up for that trip....
* (with apologies to Tom Waits)
Gallery: Italian Hideaways