Meet Your Owner

Usually we would begin our newsletter and introduce a new owner or catch up with an existing owner, but knowing how important prospects feel about experiencing the Hamlet on a Discovery Visit and having the opportunity to meet existing owners, we thought to ask some of our owners for their thoughts about their own Discovery Visit experience.

Alistair and Barbara Webster, Rochdale UK

Having spent several summer holidays in Tuscany, we had never visited Cortona, having become addicted to the lovely city of Siena. One year, staying south of Siena, we had seen Cortona in the evenings, sitting on its hill, with the lights of the city shining out through the night. It piqued our interest, which was fortified by reading Francis Maye's praise of Fulvio di Rosa and his new project at Vagli. So, we booked an inspection visit.

As we drove over the pass from Cortona to Pierli, I was wondering what lay ahead. Then we hit the road through the woods to Vagli. There are, it seems to us, two ways of approaching that road, two states of mind: either as an adventure, or, if you are not used to strade blanche, as something which calls for circumspection. But, either way, it's worth the trip.

As you wind through the trees, you keep getting intriguing glimpses of Vagli, sitting on its terraces above you. It looks as if it has emerged, almost organically, from the hillside and the forest.

We arrived on a lovely day. The Niccone valley was carpeted with poppies. When we finally arrived at Vagli, the first thing that struck us was the integrity with which the restoration of the borgo and its gardens had been carried out. And that first impression has been confirmed, time after time, over the years.

May is a lovely time to visit - everything is fresh, with flowers abundant and vivid greens.
And so to the staff: they couldn't have been more welcoming.

We spent three days there, enjoying evenings in the trattoria and days spent exploring the area. Everything we experienced convinced us that this was a place where we wanted to spend a lot more time. But it's easy to fall for the tuscan dream. What is also needed is a clear eye as to the integrity of the scheme and the security of the investment which one is contemplating.

So I wanted to judge the people involved. As a lawyer, I had read the documentation, all of which seemed to be in order, but if there is one thing that you learn - a good contract is essential, but if the other party is unreliable, it can, nevertheless, be a nightmare.

A number of things persuaded me that I would not regret buying into the fractional ownership scheme. First, there was the integrity of the work itself. Clearly, a lot of care and commitment had gone into it. It was a work of vision. It spoke volumes of Fulvio. Second, Fulvio himself was fully involved in the borgo, as he continues to be. Having met him, you couldn't fail to be impressed by his care, enthusiasm and commitment. Third, there was the staff. If you can judge a project by its people, as I believe that you can, then this was an excellent project. The staff were warm and helpful and have, over the years, it should be said, become friends. Fourth ( and these are not in any ranking order! ), Lee Cogher did not try a hard sell. He just let the place itself do the talking - aided, no doubt, by not a little of the fabulous tuscan reds!

Another matter you have to take into the reckoning is the people with whom you will be sharing your time there: the other owners and their guests. We only saw a small sample, of course, but they all seemed to share a love of the place and to be friendly and interesting.
And so we signed up. One thing which we did not factor into our reckoning was the way in which we have developed firm friendships with people from all over the world who we have met at Vagli. It's part of the charm of the place.
So, no regrets at all. Only pleasure.


Bruce Severns and Elizabeth Flynn, Melbourne Australia

We approached our Discovery Visit to Vagli with a sense of excitement and expectations of an adventure that might open up a new world. Meeting some owners over drinks and dinners helped to form the cornerstone of what was a very easy decision to become very proud owners. Several of those initial relationships have grown and we now have a number of owners that we are proud to call close friends. All of this was beautifully coordinated by Lee as the Master of Ceremonies and he has proved to be a good bloke (for a Pom).
Since becoming owners we have met several other couples during their Discovery Visits. Every one of them has been amazed by Vagli as a concept that has been superbly executed. Not everyone falls in love with it and that is ok as it isn't for everyone. One particular family felt like a perfect fit but it took some months for them to decide that Vagli was an ideal addition to their busy lives as it ticked every box on their wish list. Now they couldn't imagine not being owners so our walk into Mercatale for coffee and croissants was well worth the effort as it gave me a couple of hours to explain to them about the joys of being an owner at Borgo di Vagli.

Bruce Melton, New Hampshire USA

“Back in May of 2011, I was looking at potentially purchasing a piece of land in either Tuscany or Umbria with the intention of restoring the existing structure on the property. I was fortunate in having a good friend, a US Architect, who had successfully done this in Montone. After spending 2 weeks looking at various opportunities I came to the realization that maybe this undertaking was more complicated than I wanted to be involved in. On my friend’s advice, I switched my search to a number of fractional properties, which had much simpler owner involvement. After visiting Borgo di Vagli, I had a meeting with Lee and we made the deal on a “handshake”. Borgo, for me, was the clear choice because of the perfect restoration done by Fulvio, and the air of exclusivity which was evident by the location. Since 2011 I have visited many times with family and friends – always a good experience, as well as meeting other owners and making new friends. One thing I enjoy when I am there is talking with potential owners on their Discovery Visits, answering their questions and sharing the great things to see and do within one hour drive.”

Wendy and Antonio Yeldell, Texas USA

The Discovery Visit program provided us with an opportunity to experience BDV as a visitor and we quickly became family. We met other owners and visitors and immediately felt welcome. We even extended our trip in order to soak up a bit more of the BDV ambiance. I am bringing my sister and aunt to visit BDV this fall. I know they will fall in love with it like I did.

Mibel Aguilar and Bill Farrugia, North Warrandyte, Melbourne Australia

When one first learns about Borgo di Vagli, it seems too good to be true. The opportunity to purchase a Fractional Ownership in this exquisitely restored hamlet in iconic Tuscany seems like a fantasy proposition that can’t be possible in this modern world and might seem like some elaborate hoax. The best way to see first-hand that Borgo di Vagli is not a hoax is to experience a Discovery Visit.

We first learned about Borgo di Vagli in March a couple of years ago and after email correspondence with Lee, we visited 3 months later in June for a week long Discovery Visit. What an amazing week – looking back, it was life-changing. Within hours of arriving, we were dining with owners in the hamlet’s Trattoria sampling Dina’s wonderful cooking and learning all about life at Borgo di Vagli – we instantly felt part of the family.

The owners happily shared their experience of Fractional Ownership, and how after so many years they really feel it is their home in Tuscany. I remember sitting in our Residence soon after we arrived and staring at how beautiful the walls, the ceilings, the floors, the doors all appeared, all lovingly restored to their original condition, and realising that this is what I have been sub-consciously dreaming about owning one day. During the week it is possible to experience some of the nearby Tuscan and Umbrian towns (eg that trip we visited Radda on the way down from Florence, Cortona, Perugia, Assisi during the week and Lucignano and Asciano on the way back to Florence) and we also went on the wonderful Winery tour at Avignonesi. And Monday night was the famous Borgo di Vagli Pizza Night which in addition to the 7 delicious pizzas, it was a social extravaganza – in summer you have to pinch yourself that you are under the stars in a hidden paradise sharing stories jokes and wonderful food and wine with like-minded friends from all around the world.

Before you visit the Hamlet, the practicalities of Fractional Ownership may be a concern, will you be able to take advantage of the 4 weeks, will you feel a negative pressure to return to the same place each time for a holiday, how does it compare to owning a property outright etc. A Discovery Visit allows you to immerse yourself in life at the Hamlet and surrounds, and decide whether this peaceful Tuscan haven is the opportunity you seek to retreat, regroup and discover at your own pace on your terms. It certainly is for us.

Michael and Susan Farver Plantation Florida, USA

We will never forget the moment we first pulled to a stop in front of the reception office of Borgo di Vagli on a glorious late-afternoon fall day for the beginning of our inspection visit. The valley below us was bathed in brilliant sunshine and shadows, the wind blew gently and I remember reaching across the roof of our car, grasping Susan’s hand and saying, “I think we’re home.” After a kind and loving welcome from the entire staff, we unpacked and settled in. Shortly, we ventured down to the Trattoria for a meal we will always remember. The room was full, and we were welcomed with genuine warmth and engagement by everyone already enjoying dinner. Looking back, I marvel now at how easily, and immediately, we were embraced as part of the Borgo family, even though we didn’t know a soul. That quickly changed as the night wore on, and conversations and connections were made.

Borgo is not for everyone. It is not a place or a destination where every moment is scripted or planned. Just like that first night of our inspection visit, you never know who you will be sharing dinner with in the trattoria on any given night, but I do know that you can be certain they will be interesting, adventurous and enlightening. We have made many life-long friends, including many we met that first night. We have shared laughter, tears and secrets that I know wouldn’t be shared in any other environment. The closeness among owners and guests alike is genuine, real, and incredibly rewarding.


Jeremy and Pat Bilham Bournemouth UK

Our first experience at Borgo di Vagli was not a discovery visit as such because we just turned up on spec and were given nothing but a delightful and friendly reception.
Over the years we have met many visitors and it is always a remarkably friendly and exciting experience. There has never been an occasion when we have not had a tremendous evening over Dina's fabulous cooking perhaps with pizza or two and a great bottle of wine. Over the years of owning it becomes more and more important and apparent that the heart of Borgo di Vagli is in the people you meet and the staff who are there. We have met many new visitors from around the world including US, UK, Canada, Norway and Australia who we are now very proud and honoured to be able to call our friends.
It is always a delight to catch up with previous friends on each visit and meet new guests and visitors. It is fun to share our Tuscan and Umbrian experiences.
We look forward to many years of meeting up with existing friends and making new ones too.


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