Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom

Neil, Ophelia, Wilfred and Christa Jacob,

Looking back on it, our discovery of Borgo di Vagli was, I suspect, similar to many other people’s in our desire to one day “have a house in Italy”. Our journey began in busy, hot Rome and ended in tranquil, refreshing Borgo di Vagli in September 2007. Christa and I were attending a wedding of Italian friends of ours in Rome. It was also our own belated honeymoon (!) and as we had the very rare opportunity to be away on our own as Grandma had very kindly offered to look after our two then tiny children, we decided to make the most of our week in Italy. Christa already knew Umbria, Tuscany and Rome well, having decided to spend a few years living in Italy before studying Art at University, and she was obsessed with the culture, people and of course the amazing food. Her slightly fantastical idea of buying a house in Tuscany soon wore off on myself – but at that time it was really just a romantic ideal, nothing else.Planning our trip on a Sunday morning at home in our village near Bath, I noticed a newspaper advertisement for fractional ownership at Borgo di Vagli. It seemed the ideal location to spend a few days, being fairly equidistant between Rome and Pisa, and within day-tripping distance of Florence, Siena, Gubbio and Assisi to name but a few tempting places to re-discover. So, we booked a three-day stay thinking it would give us a comparison with properties for outright purchase.After a fantastic, but exhausting, time in Rome, followed by a calmer first visit to Cortona, we found ourselves following the mysterious, winding track through the forest and up the mountain to Borgo di Vagli. We were like small children in our anticipation of what we would find at the end of the bumpy track. The contrast with the previous few days could not have been more dramatic; we were transported from the intensity of a massive, extravagant “Hello” magazine style Roman wedding to the tranquillity of the hamlet.Tucked away, quiet, beautiful beyond words, it was quite literally worlds away from everything else.We can still remember how initially shocked we were by both the beauty and the seclusion of the hamlet; as if we were in the middle of some wonderful dream and the hamlet didn’t really exist. I have to say that it still feels like that every time we return to it. Within a few days, after the reality of the place had eventually sunk in, we realized that it was everything we were looking for in a holiday home. Our planned efforts to search for a freehold property to purchase outright were curtailed (with something of a sense of relief as we had arranged to see as many as possible in the little time we had!), and we willingly succumbed to the temptation of relaxation.Since purchasing a two bedroom, fractional interest in Borgo di Vagli four years ago, we have brought brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents to stay with us here. All have been stunned by the sheer beauty of this unique place, and, as our two young children grow, they increasing look forward to the many delights that the hamlet, Tuscany and Italy hold, forever asking “when are we going to ‘our home in Italy?'”…

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