Saint-Maur des Fosss, France

Lionel and Noëlle Pottier,

Our story with Borgo di Vagli When did this story really begin ? A first stay in Tuscany. In April 2008, we decided to visit Florence and the Chianti region, which is fairly easy to do from Paris. You take the night train at 7 p.m., and you are in Santa Maria Novella station, in Florence, at 7 a.m. the next day, ready to visit (just taking the time of seeing the room at the hotel). We thus spent a few days in Florence (no need to comment …), followed by some other nice days in Castellina in Chianti. On the last day of this first stay, it was raining and raining, but nevertheless we decided to go to the south of Sienna. We thus visited the Crete Senesi region, Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Montalcino under the water (no wine then …) and Sant’ Antimo. This was an extremely beautiful trip … but our stay was finishing. A second stay in Tuscany. In April 2009, we decided to return. At that time, looking for a hotel, we hesitated between several places, and finally chose a hotel near Castiglione Fiorentino (a nice village near Cortona). Probably has this choice more or less been influenced by my reading, some years before, of the book “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes (at that time, the city of Cortona, which plays a so central part in the book, was for me some abstract Mediterranean city, about which I knew nothing, and which I could hardly imagine). During this second stay, we continued to explore the region, and visited Montepulciano, Arezzo, Citta di Castello, San Sepolcro … and, of course, Cortona. There we went to the bookshop of Giulio Nocentini via Nazionale, where I bought the book “Bringing Tuscany home”, also by Frances Mayes. This book, dedicated to Fulvio di Rosa, is full of nice photographs, and a whole section is devoted to the restoration of Borgo di Vagli by Fulvio. Borgo di Vagli …. we had never heard of that place. The description of the hamlet looked very appealing, the photographs were splendid, however we could not visit … our stay was finishing. Back to Paris came Google’s hour, visiting the Web site of Borgo, asking for information, deciding to make an ‘inspection trip’. A third stay in Tuscany. It took place in Borgo, in July 2009. The hamlet was absolutely enchanting. We visited more places in Tuscany. We also made tours in Umbria, a region which we did not know before. We went in very well known cities like Perugia or Assisi, but also in much less visited places as, for instance, Santa Maria Tiberina or small villages near Lago Trasimeno. In Tuscany, and this is also true in Umbria, even in very small places there is always something to look at, some interesting details in the architecture of churches or of houses, not speaking of the landscapes which are everywhere extremely beautiful. When our stay in Borgo ended, we decided to pass some more days in Italy, since we also wanted to visit some Etruscan places like Tuscania and Tarquinia. These days were interesting, however, leaving the Borgo, we had more or less the impression of having been excluded from some paradise. This could not be true, we had to return, and so, we decided to become owners. This we did at the end of year 2009. Our story with Borgo continues. From that date, we made two other stays in Borgo (november 2009, April 2010), discovering new places, returning to Montalcino (there was some wine this time …). At each stay, there is some more place which we would like to see … but this is our last day and the stay is finishing. But this is no more an issue now, since we are owners and can come back again and again.

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