Meet Your Owner

Rob and Nancy Chimsky, Kenwood, Sonoma, California USA

In 2006, we were seriously considering the possibility of purchasing a home in Italy, preferably in Tuscany and in the vicinity of Lucca. Nancy's maternal grandparents were originally from Lucca and we felt drawn to that area. We also wanted a place that we could share with others including Nancy's large family, Rob's small family and many friends who love Italy as much as we do.

Our main concern was that we would only be able to spend a short amount of time each year until we were into our retirement years and that was at least 10 -15 years in the future. We live in Northern California in the Sonoma Valley in the small village of Kenwood, and we have a long and costly trip to get to Italy, so that also played into our considerations. From our thoughts to God's ears, serendipity stepped in and we were surprised by mail with a lovely invitation to tour a fractional property located between Lucca and Pisa!! This property was nowhere near the beauty nor did it have the fascinating history of Borgo di Vagli, but it was a great compromise for our concerns.

Having a property managed for us made sense due to the short amount of time that we could afford in our schedules. Well, it was an interesting introduction to fractional ownership, but not exactly what we had in mind since they were trying to sell us a property that was not yet built!! They were using the property we stayed at to give us a sense of what the project they were selling would look like but neither of us felt comfortable purchasing something that was not even tangible as yet. Well, fortunately we looked on the internet prior to our trip and we booked an introductory visit with Borgo di Vagli.

We arrived very late at night in early November of 2006 which made our initial drive up the winding road quite an adventure in the pitch black dark to say the least!! It was late at night, we felt lost and we were very tired. We thought we would never want to drive up and down routinely whenever we came to be there. And we were very concerned that we had made a mistake. Little did we know what awaited us the days to come.

Well all of us who have since had the pleasure of waking up at Borgo di Vagli and the glorious views, we felt very enamored and totally differently from the first night! We the had the pleasure of meeting with the handsome, charming and delightful Lee Cogher (see Lee I said I would give you a good plug, haha) and the rest is history! We signed up for a 2 bedroom unit the next day and had a wonderful and magical time exploring all of the fantastic places that are so accessible from the great location that the hamlet provides as a mid-point to not only Tuscany but Umbria as well! We began to explore places like Assisi, Gubbio, the wineries of Montalcino and Montepulciano and really opened up our love of the "gems" in Italy that we had not been to before. Our love for the people working and managing Borgo di Vagli like Dina and her daughter Tiziana, Stefania,and eventually those who have been or are still with the family we have grown to love more and more. The drive up the rugged road that leads you to the heavenly destination became a thing of humorous jokes and laughter with all it's winding and occasional bumps and carries some great memories dodging the porcupine, cinghiale, foxes, and other cars!

Within less than a year in September of 2007, Rob was celebrating his 50th birthday and we decided that Borgo di Vagli was the perfect setting! We invited his parents Matt and Jean and another couple, the Goldsteins, to join us as well as Father Murray Bodo (aka "Luigi") to join in the celebration…by the way, Father Bodo, a Franciscan monk and priest, is quite well known as the author of well over 50 books on Saint Francis, which have been published in many languages all over the world and he leads pilgrimages of Saint Francis' journeys every year starting in September! Well one of my favorite memories is when Father Bodo stepped out of the car when we drove him up to Borgo di Vagli for the first time. His authentic words meant so much and spoke the truth. He said, "Oh Saint Francis would have loved it here!" In my opinion that said it all… that visit in 2007 we decided to invest in another unit and we bought an additional 1 bedroom! That was a great gift for Rob's 50th Birthday!! Once again, captured by the charms of Borgo di Vagli and Lee, as well as having met Fulvio Di Rosa on that visit for the first time was a wonderful treat! Nancy is an Interior designer with a flare for the Tuscan style and fell in love with Fulvio's sense of passion from the beginning, but meeting him was like meeting a mentor that you know you could follow around and learn so much from for all of his vision and brilliance, as well as his love for the true Tuscan way of life!

We have many memories of our peaceful quiet moments, the beautiful experiences convening with nature, meeting new friends and fellow owners, our hilarious laughing fests, our fabulous meals at the trattoria, especially Pizza Night with all the other owners, and of course, the tearful goodbyes that we can only pray are never goodbyes but only a brief arrivederci!

We are forever very grateful for the love and experiences we have had and look forward to more in the future at our "home away from home". A true testament of the kind of love that exists for us at Borgo di Vagli was even more pronounced when we were unable to visit for 5 years due to a health condition that Nancy suffers with and so she was not able to travel at all, especially internationally. Well this year in September and again for Rob's birthday, we were welcomed to the warm hugs from beautiful Stefania and all the others, a huge bouquet in our unit, the aroma of Dina's fabulous meals from the wood-fired oven, Lee's humor and updates, Fulvio's brilliance and stories, new friends and their loved ones, new experiences, lots and lots of great wine and food, and of course the tears were streaming… WE WERE HOME AGAIN!!


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