We spent our first two nights at Villa Arabella in the small village of Mornico Losana. Our hosts, Arabella and Paul, made us very welcome - Arabella's cooking was excellent, and Paul didn't need much of an excuse to break out the local grappa!
On our first full day we explored nearby Pavia, the town of 100 towers, and visited the impressive monastery complex of Certosa di Pavia, 5 miles further north.
We'd hired a car to get us from the airport at Genoa and had to leave it in Pavia. The bus trip from there back to Mornico Losana - just the four of us and three locals - was a laugh ... and much cheaper than a taxi!