Hotel San Rocco

Set beside Lake Orta, the hotel has 85 rooms, most converted out of a monastery, the others once part of a Baroque villa. Antique furniture and traditional furnishings add elegance, although the hotel's main feature is its views across the lake. The restaurant specialises in risottos, fish from the lake, and local meats and cheeses. In the evening a pianist provides accompaniment in the bar. For daytime there is an outdoor swimming pool and a Body Harmony Centre for massages and beauty treatments.

Hotel San Rocco, Via Gippini 11, Orta San Giulio (00 39 0322 911 977; Double rooms with a lake view start at €225 (£161) including breakfast. Three-night stays from Friday to Monday €275 (£196) per person, including breakfast and one dinner with tasting menu.

Villa I Berroni

The bed and breakfast accommodation at the Villa I Berroni is more stately home than private house, although Countess Alessandra Visconti and her family do live here. The mansion is built in the French rococo style surrounded by gardens and a park. Recently, the Countess decided to open up four of the bedrooms on the second floor which all have views over the park. Each has modern facilities, but is furnished using pieces that were already in the house. The rooms are named after flowers - ivy, rose, bluebell and poppy. The most luxurious is Bluebell, with its king-size bed. The Villa is a couple of miles outside the tiny village of Racconigi, halfway between Turin and Cuneo.

Villa I Berroni, Racconigi, Cuneo (00 39 0172 813 186; Doubles start at €110 (£79) including breakfast.

Cascina Papaveri

This Piemontese farmhouse takes its name from the poppies which bloom in May and June. Perched on a hillside in the Monferrato region, the aim is to provide a relaxing holiday and give the opportunity to do something different. Stays include pilates sessions and culinary courses. The chef takes his students to markets and gardens, and the sessions cover everything from the selection and preparation of food to eating it. Classes are small as the Cascina only has five rooms. It has been awarded Agriturismo status.

Agriturismo Cascina Papaveri, Str. Chiesa San Michele 8, Costigliole D'Asti (0845 070 6925; Breaks of seven, four and three nights available; long-weekend €1,050 (£750) per person, including three nights' dinner, bed and breakfast, two lunches, cooking and pilates courses.

Casa Pavesi

The Casa Pavesi nestles at the foot of Grinzane's 13th-century castle. It has been painstakingly restored and turned into a 12-room hotel. All the rooms are individually decorated with a mixture of old and new: wooden floors, beamed ceilings and modern furnishings. There are several suites, each equipped with a spa bath. Most rooms have views over the Langhe hills, and there is a large terrace for an early evening drink. For colder nights, there are two cosy sitting rooms. The village of Grinzane Cavour is a few miles south-east of Alba, and gets the second part of its name from the Italian Prime Minister, Count Camillo di Cavour, who used to be mayor.

Hotel Casa Pavesi, Via IV Novembre 7, Grinzane Cavour (00 39 0173 231 149; Doubles start at €140 (£100) including breakfast.

Villa Beccaris

The Beccaris is an 18th-century villa which has been converted into a luxurious hotel. The main building contains 22 rooms and a suite, all of which have been filled with old furniture, original parquet floors and frescoes have been preserved. The hotel has the quiet village of Monforte to one side, parkland all around, and mountain peaks in the distance. Facilities include an outdoor pool, which opens on to two terraces. Inside are the Caffe dell'Auditorium, a dining and sitting area where breakfast is served, and the Infernot, a wine cellar where you can taste the excellent Barolo and Barbaresco wines that are produced in this region.

Hotel Villa Beccaris, Via Bava Beccaris 1, Monforte d'Alba (00 39 0173 78 158; www.villa Double rooms start at €192 (£137) including breakfast.