Sandnes, Norway

Hans and Inger Von der Lippe, Sandnes,

We first heard about Borgo di Vagli from Tone, a very close friend of ours who had read about the hamlet in a Norwegian magazine a few years ago. Tone, kindly involved us in her plans and together we formed a partnership and purchased in the two-bedroom residence category last autumn.We believe ownership at the hamlet is a lifestyle investment, and hopefully our children and grandchildren will join us vacationing at our “Home in Tuscany”.We love the concept of owning in Tuscany and having a home to return to year after year and not having to worry about the maintenance, the garden, terraces and pool etc..The hamlet itself has been beautifully and sympathetically restored and it highlights the original architecture of the humble stone houses, which seem to hug the hillside as if by magic.Instead of an easy accessible “traditional” turquoise swimming pool seen throughout Europe, the heated pool is hidden far up on the top terrace and was shaped to take the form of the original terrace. This gives it the appearance that it looks as though it has always been there, like a clear water pond enhanced with greyish tiles.Now in June the plants leave a great impression – the lavender is ever so purple-blue, and the huge rosemary bushes ever so green; both give off a wonderful Tuscan scent as you brush past them.Dina’s FoodWe both love cooking and using the fresh ingredients that we bought at the local markets… but the professional Tuscan cook is Dina. She is a great inspiration and master!Her spinach with pine nuts, raisins, and Borgo’s olive oil is to dream about and of course her wild boar and fresh mint stew. What can I say!!! Also her handmaderavioli served with sage is a favourite of ours. And this trip she gave us a jar of her own freshly made fruit jam, which was still warm! Mamma mia! Dina’s cooking is a very important reason why we choose to dine at the hamlet most evenings and her daughters Roberta and Tiziana make us feel so welcome.We love to exercise and the hiking paths are wonderful and offer truly breath-taking views.In less than a year we have returned three times and feel that we know the place well. The team are very friendly and willing to help with everything (i.e. delivering home made croissants to our residence in time for a leisurely breakfast, or helping us with bookings and making dinner reservations in the local hilltop towns, and we especially like it when the gardener’s recognise us and greet us with a friendly buongiorno.We appreciate the flexibility fractional ownership affords us, the variations of when to go and the possibilities of inviting guests to join us.We live in Norway, on the southwestern coast – our vacations are mostly by the sea, in an old wooden boat, sailing, kayaking and fishing. In the winter we go cross-country skiing. Vacations at the Borgo are different indeed, the climate, the culture… we cannot remember hiking in the Norwegian mountains in 30 degrees and we never met wild boar on our way!Unfortunately there are no direct flights to Italy from our local airport, otherwise we would visit more often!!And last but not least: the peacefulness! It’s just so peaceful there!

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