Garden guides can be brilliant or so annoying that you want to rattle your teeth and burst into tears. Brian, I am happy to tell you, is my nominee for guide of the year award. Tucked away up a remote valley in Umbria due south of Lake Trasimeno is the weird and wonderful architectural fantasy of La Scarzuola. More about that one a blog post I put up in August and here is the link http://www.catharinehoward.co.uk/2014/08/07/garden-visits-the-wild-and-woolly-way/ He lives there and though not official custodian, is practically that for his enthusiasm for the works of Tomaso Buzzii who designed the follies. He is funny and courteous and would be a huge lure for another look at this very strange place. The visit also includes the chapel and sacerdotal artefacts - a must for relic lovers. Brian will skim a ladle into the spring-fed pond and you might possibly be drinking the same clear water as St Francis - the Assisi one who supposedly built a shelter here. Roll up Marco Bellocchio (director of the live Rigoletto in Mantua in 2011) - this is the best imaginable stage set for an opera.