Melbourne, Australia

Bruce Severns and Elizabeth Flynn,

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.We are fortunate to have travelled many times to Europe, most particularly to Italy and France. As a result we subscribe to Italia (and France) magazine which we pore over as soon as it arrives.In February this year we spotted a small article about Borgo di Vagli and it struck a chord. After starting to correspond with Lee to get answers to all of the obvious question, we discussed and confirmed all of the reasons why we have never gone ahead with a property investment in Europe. Yes, the 22 hour flying time was number one on the list. However, the more we investigated, the more attractive it seemed. We had already booked our Northern Hemisphere Summer vacation for June/July so decided to incorporate a Discovery Visit then. In the first week of March, everything was organised and then I had one of those silly (brilliant) ideas.Easter was approaching and our plans had fallen through, it would be a quiet time for my work in Real Estate and Elizabeth’s schedule was also looking good. Then I found a very attractive airfare…Less than three weeks later we arrived at Vagli after a 37 hour door to door trip. A quick tour, unpack and off to Pizza Night! At about midnight Lee toasted our ability to stay awake, finish 7 pizzas and drink far too much red wine. We stayed eight days but the truth is that by our second day we were mentally and emotionally committed. It felt right.While we had visited Tuscany a couple of times, it had been ten years since our last trip with more recent visits focussing on Lake Como and Sicily. The physical beauty, food and wine are universal attractions. Now we can slow down and really begin to explore the many enticing destinations that are close by. Having easy access to the train for a trip to Florence or Rome is really a bit of icing on the cake. Chiusi to Rome – 9 Euros!While there are 100 reasons not to do something like this, that fact was actually an encouragement to move forward. The appeal of the location, ambiance, and of course the buildings all were considerations. Further weighting was given to the buy in cost, ongoing fees and the concept of “Space Available”. But the superb quality of the staff also contributed to our decision. We were looked after like royalty on our Discovery Visit, and warmly welcomed back on our return in July.One of the highlights was a visit to Avignonesi Vineyard for a tour of their impressive facilities . . . and the promise by Lee of a return visit for lunch (since honoured with gusto). Of course the next morning Lee and I had to walk into Mercatale for our morning cappucini and pastry, and to collect supplies for the troops back at Vagli.Stefania is an absolute gem, while Daria, Tiziana, Dina and Simone all contributed directly to our positive experience. It would be easy not to notice all of the gardeners, cleaners etc but their efforts ensure that we all enjoy a very high quality of life during our stay. It is such a pleasure to be surrounded by smiling happy people!The other people who influenced us were the other owners. Lee and Fulvio had both mentioned “Like minded people” and on that first visit we had dinner with three different groups of owners. On our second visit in July we met a fourth couple. We look forward to sharing many good times with these and other owners. Having watched the DVD many times with various friends we feel like we could have been in that video as their comments ring true every time we hear them. A warm Thank You to all those in the video.After Christmas this year visiting my Mother near Chicago, we have already booked flights back to Rome so we can spend the New Year relaxing at Vagli, meeting new friends and experiencing Tuscany in winter. While it is unlikely that we will visit three times every year (hey, it is a LONG trip) our commitment to Vagli has already given us great joy and a focus for the future. We are both still working full time (Elizabeth is a lawyer working for Save The Children Australia and is a NED on three boards in the financial services industry) but see Vagli as a “feel good” purchase, lifestyle investment, magnet to draw us back to a beautiful place, and a place to share with special friends.The best advertisement I have ever seen simply showed a Porsche with the tag line, “IF NOT NOW, WHEN?” When applied to Borgo di Vagli, we couldn’t sign quick enough.

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