Rogaland, Norway

Tone and Odd Larsen,

A Philosphophy of Life.Happy New Year all owners of Borgo di Vagli!We are new owners from Norway and had a memorable week between Christmas and over the New Year. We enjoyed clear blue skies which was ideal for walking and getting to know the surroundings. We wanted Hamlet to be a part of us. My husband Odd, had only heard about Borgo di Vagli through me, and I was too enthusiastic about it in his opinion. He was a bit skeptic, but he has always relied and trusted me. He was breathtaking by the picturesque little village that was hidden among the trees up in the hills when we arrived in the afternoon. The place is a treasure. A hidden pearl!We have a cabin in Setesdal in Norway which lies up in the mountain 3-4hours driving by car from Sandnes, where we live. The cabin can be reached on weekends and is used more or less through the year. In my opinion there is one problem where we live – THE WEATHER and the lack of light in winter time. We live in a part of Norway with fantastic nature and fresh air, but the weather is not that good! In spring, summer and autumn we need sun and nice weather more than now and then. This summer it has been raining almost every day, and the temperature like winter in Tuscany. We both like to spend most of the days outside when we have holidays and we like sunny days. We like to sit out relaxing and enjoying the evenings with good friends, share thoughts and have a good conversation, which we can do in Borgo. We enjoyed every minute of our staying, in spite that it was winter. We meet nice owners from San Francisco, Denmark and a couple looking at the prospect from Toronto.Dina and her daughters provide delicious food in a fantastically warm and friendly environment. Dina’s dinner became the highlight after days out in the open. We enjoyed the evening in the Trattoria with co-owners. It was the season for wild boar hunting, we heard the hunters and shouting, but we did not see any boar, only footprints. We had the opportunity to celebrate New Year Eve in the Trattoria together with co-owners and guests from a village nearby. It was a memorable evening. Everybody wanted us to have a nice stay and we indeed had! The hospitality was fantastic!My fairytale! For many years I’ve been thinking of Borgo di Vagli. I read an article in a foreign magazine several years ago, and then I found an article in a Norwegian magazine in 2008 about a family from Norway who became owners. I had never heard about fractional ownership before, only timeshare. Timeshare was out of question. The photos in the article was taken out of a window in Hamlet – a foggy morning. The nature, the old houses and the peacefulness it showed, spellbounded me. I wanted Odd and me to be a part of this village out in the middle of nowhere, and still close to so many nice places like Siena, Pisa, Chianti, Assisi etc.We say that wishes comes true when we want it enough! I believe in that, because I have had it in my mind since the first time I read about the place. Now was the right time for us to purchase. We have 3 children, girls of 34, 31 and 23. The two eldest are married and we have 4 grandchildren, girls of course! We want them to like Hamlet as well. First they have to get to know the place.Through the years we have been travelling a lot in the world. We have been skiing in Italy and Austria. When the children were kids we loved to go to Greece and had a favorite island and was about to by a property there in the late 90’s. In the later years we have travelled all around Italy and in June we were bicycling along the costal area of Puglia for 14 days. Fantastic! We stayed in Castel del Piano in Tuscany three years ago, and participated in the festivities around the horse Race in Siena. We like good food, wine and the atmosphere we found in Tuscany. For the last two years I’ve been with friends to Andrea Bocelli’s concert in Tuscany. It was held in the open theater in Lajatico, close to Cortona. It was breathtaking listening to my favorite artist in the middle of Tuscany, with fields around and shining stars in the sky and full moon! The surroundings, the smells of flowers and trees, everything were perfect. I wanted this to be a part of Odd and me.The day after the concert we took the train, easy way of travelling in Italy, to Terontola and taxi up to Borgo di Vagli. Stefania was expecting us. I was so excited. I still remember coming up there the 22nd of July, blue sky, smells from flowers and trees, nice chairs and tables under the grapes, the area was magic to me. I got out of the car and said to Edle, my friend; I belong here! Just what I’ve been searching for. Stefania showed us around and we got in and out of several apartments, both one and two rooms. The hospitality was amazing! Borgo di Vagli would be perfect for Odd and me. No responsibility and unacceptable burden of ownership. Here we would have the benefit of “a home away from home” in the Tuscan hills and with none of the anxiety and ties of sole ownership. No house to take care of, we could put on our shoes and go for a walk. We had nice lunch made by Dina and of course Tuscan wine before we went back to Firenze and the news about the tragedy that had happened in Oslo at the same time. The best and the worse occur on the same day.Fractional ownership seemed to suit us. The cost of 1 bedded apartment was acceptable for us, but if we wanted to bring grandchildren or friends along, a 2 bedded would fit perfect. But we would not tie up so much money for this purpose. We wanted to have the opportunity of doing other things in life also. The airfare from Stavanger is pretty high, so we will have to book in advanced to be sure to get reasonable tickets, or else we can as well go to New York for the same price. The ideal thing for us was to share a partnership in a 2 bedded apartment. – Just before I left for Firenze I meet a friend, Inger. I told her about Borgo di Vagli and she was anxious to hear about it. That day, I had all my papers about The Hamlet in my bag. What a coincident? I gave her everything and she was anxious to read about the project I was going to visit. Edle, my friend and me left for Firenze next day. When we came to visit Borgo, Inger had already got in contact with Lee! Inger and Hans spent some days in Hamlet in the beginning September and were thrilled like me. We decided to share a partnership for a 2-rooms apartment. The nut was Odd! I had to convince him, so on his birthday in October I invited him to Borgo di Vagli to spend the last week in 2011 in Tuscany together with me.We bought a share in The Hamlet because we want to spend more time in Tuscany and the area around. We are working hard, and have limited holiday through a year. Odd travel a lot in his work and doesn’t like staying in hotels, especially not when we have holiday. The Hamlet is something special, it’s becoming a philosophy of life to us during our stay. We enjoyed lying on the sofa by the fireplace reading, talking and tasting a glass of good wine. We felt like home. For us this was perfect. We love walking in the mountains, here we can do it whenever we want, or explore other places by car. Borgo di Vagli is situated in Tuscany but close to the border of Umbria. The walking tours in the area are amazing. Only 45 minutes and you are on the top of Mount Ginezzo between 900-1000 m, with 360 grade in all directions. We have been walking up there every day to the breathtaking view. Far away we saw snow on the mountains. You can walk in any directions, towards Lake Trasimeno, direction Cortona, take the old Roman road down the hill to Pierle or take another path home.As Odd said one of the last days; “when we come back in May we have to take the trip to Cortona, and we can take a short walk in the morning and relax by the swimming pool in the afternoon”. Then I knew that this was a good investment and suites our lifestyle. We are planning to spend our holidays in the Hamlet in the future and hope that friends and family will come along sometimes. We really hope that our children and friends will take the opportunity to visit Borgo di Vagli together with us or as uncompanied guests. We want to share our treasure in Tuscany with family and friends. “Good things have to be shared” We feel privileged to be a part of the Borgo Family! Thank you for a nice staying and looking forward to come back in May!!

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