If you want to veer from the beaten path - out into the country to see the way Italy really lives and eat -- then book some nights in this affordable, clean, charming, perfectly situated roadside tavern. That's what my sister and I did. We had a rental car and made day trips across Tuscany on roads that never see tour buses: winding postcard journeys to Sienna, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Motereggioni, Volterra, the Crete Sineses, and the charming truffly villages of real Italy. Our hosts at Il Ceppo fortified us well with a massive breakfast every morneing, travel tips, restaurant recommendations, and good humour. We stayed in several B&Bs and small hotels during our 14-day Tuscan tour, and nowhere else did these two women feel more safe, more looked after, and more welcome than at Il Ceppo. This is the real Italy.