When I was little, the first thing my mum wanted to know on holiday was: ‘Can you drink the water?’
A few decades later and we’ve just arrived at our villa in the Italian hilltop town of San Gemini.
We spot a note from the owner: ‘Tap water is good for cooking and brushing teeth. As for drinking, we’d suggest mineral water in bottles.’
Historic: Casa del Poggi, originally the stable block of the palazzo, is carved into the town walls
I’m sure this is not because the family fortune that paid for this splendid house (and the 15-room palazzo next door) came from, well, bottled mineral water.
The owner’s great-grandfather began bottling Sangemini water in the late 19th century. It’s one of the best-known brands in Italy, but is no longer in the family.
But we haven’t come to Umbria for the water.
The adults are here for the pretty medieval streets, Roman ruins and a few glasses of Orvieto. George, nine, and Daisy, six, are big on pasta, ice cream and afternoons in the pool.
This is also truffle country. We’ve promised to take the children truffle hunting, which they like the sound of…