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A Philosophy of life
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Dirk Michiels and Ria Van Geystelen Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

There is something in the Italian culture that makes it extremely attractive. Italy is considered a birthplace of the Western civilization. It is a cultural superpower.

The south of Europe has been a resting places for us for years. We stayed in the Gers, Provence,.. and Tuscany to wind down of our daily hectic professional lives. We kept on dreaming of our own home in the south, away from Belgium and the cold north of Europe.

We could though not decide. The Gers is peaceful, foie gras, Armagnac… The Provence with its lavender sent, great food, unbelievable light… and yes Italy, great food, culture, nature…

It has been a dilemma for us, an impossible choice to have a home in the south. Each of the opportunities had advantages and disadvantages. We had been following Borgo Di Vagli since the beginning. When we first arrived, we immediately felt at home.

Borgo di Vagli is a magical place high up in the hills near Cortona. When you arrive in Vagli, over a long Strada Bianco through the forest, passing by Pierle Castle with its rich history, you have a feeling of arriving home.

Fulvio Di Rosa has spent the last 30 years bringing back to life the most authentic rural farmhouses and abandoned hamlets in Tuscany. Fulvio has made Vagli into a place with character, taste whilst maintaining the old glory. Although the hamlet has kept it old glory, present in the walls, roof and interior design, there are appliances such as high pressure showers, flat screen TV’s and high speed Internet and central heating.

This makes Borgo di Vagli and excellent retreat, in the middle of nature and with mind blowing cities like Florence, Siena, Rome, Pisa, Lucca very nearby for a day trip.

Not only the surroundings, the nature, the views and the hamlet’s building are astonishing, there is also an excellent, friendly onsite team (Stefania, Daria, Dina, Lee,…), they all feel part of the family, that help you make the most of your time in Italy without hassle and worries often related to a second home. This makes it easy to integrate Vagli in our professional lives.

The Hamlet also boasts a Trattoria with an excellent cook! Never forget the Monday night, which is Pizza night, “the must go to” for all owners of the hamlet and a great place to make new international friends.

We very much like our hideout in the Tuscan/Umbria border and highly recommend it to all who search for and love peace, nature, culture, food, wine… Italy.

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Danny and Karien Deweale from Groeningekaai, Belgium

We first heard about Borgo di Vagli in an article in “De Standaard”, one of the leading Belgian newspapers towards the end 2011. What immediately struck us was the originality and the authenticity of the concept. We do not like the classical tourist traps with lots of people, we do not want to feel like a tourist when we travel. Of course, we visited the website, which confirmed our first feeling. Which is also logical is that there were still some doubts about the system of co-ownership. I made contact and requested some additional information, which was sent quickly and highlighted the clear differences between the Fractional Ownership and the Timesharing concept.

We kept the idea in mind as we had already planned the following summer vacation, and honestly speaking, we thought more about buying an apartment at our Belgian coast. Nevertheless, as Italy lovers and travellers since a long time, we wanted to experience Borgo di Vagli and booked a discovery visit for the end of October 2012. At that moment, we were convinced by the location, and without being too pushy, (which would not have been appreciated by us) Lee convinced us about the reservation privileges. Also the management and staff were very friendly and charming. This gave us a warm familiar feeling. We decided during the discovery visit to join.

The main reasons to purchase was that we had already fallen in love with Italy quite some years ago. I think our first visit to Tuscany was in 1994. We came back several times in Tuscany, and later on we discovered quite some other regions. Tuscany itself can be too busy and touristic to us, but this is certainly not the case at BDV, on the contrary.

– Important facts we took into consideration were:
– Authenticity of the restoration of the Hamlet
– Luxury living (on-site trattoria with Dina’s home-cooked dishes, high quality furnishings, Busatti linen, high speed wifi, large outdoor heated swimming pool, …) in an original and authentic setting
– Easily accessible to reach by air (airport of Perugia). Normally we would come by car, but for short visits of one week we can also easily fly from Charelroi in Belgium.
– No hassle ownership – maintenance and cleaning.
– Flexibility of the reservation privileges (i.e. we can book two residences for the same week(s), which we did this summer with our children and their friends).

We consider our purchase more of a lifestyle investment above a financial investment and intend to return as often as possible and will also enjoy the Hamlet as a “satellite hub” to visit other regions in Italy.

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Rudy, Else, Manon and Mauranne van Hoe/De Lie, Oostkamp, Belgium

We discovered Cortona 10 years ago.

While we visited many beautiful places in many countries, only the Etruscan village on the hill got an unique and authentic place in our lives and memories. So since 2003, we have been coming back and back: wandering around in the streets of Cortona never gets boring and the gelato from Snoopy on the stairs of the Piazza della Repubblica became a “classico” 🙂

The location of Cortona is also exceptional. Close to many of the must-see cities of Tuscany such as Montepulciano, Siena, Pienza, Arezzo, Firenze, etc. But also close to Umbria, hence cities like Perugia, Todi, Spoleto, … are within car-distance. With Val di Chiana, Val d’Orcia and Crete Senesi (and the “greener” Umbria around the corner), the Cortona area hosts a diverse palette of Tuscan landscapes, truly the most beautiful and authentic part of Tuscany. (We can highly recommend to explore the area by (racing) bicycle to experience the Tuscan nature!)

So no-suprise that an article on Borgo di Vagli in a local magazine caught our immediate attention. We had been checking in the past the pricing of houses in the Cortona area and gave up our dream immediately 🙂 But the Borgo di Vagli project turned out to be different: with an affordable investment one can become fractional owner of a unique Medieval hamlet! In the summer of 2012 (yes we were again on holidays in Cortona!) we made an appointment with Lee to visit Borgo di Vagli and to better understand the T&C’s of the project.

It became a very memorable day … Not only for us, but also for our fellow-citizens: Patrick and Marleen: as we apparently both decided to test the edges of the strada bianca 🙂 To make a long story short, we finally had a great lunch with Fulvio, Lee, Patrick and Marleen. And that was the first time we enjoyed the fabulous kitchen of Dina. We made a tour of the hamlet, visited some two-bedroom houses and when we drove back to Cortona late afternoon, we basically made the principle decision to go for it… We had seen with our own eyes that indeed Fulvio re-created a medieval hamlet in a unique and authentic way, superbly located in the Tuscan hills and all this close to Cortona. The fractional ownership value-proposition and the conversations with Lee was also straightforward and honest.

The kids had the final say (but that was easy 🙂 as they have the same connection with Cortona and Italy and after going through the administrative process we became owners at the end of 2012. We stayed for a first time at Borgo di Vagli during the Easter Holidays: it was a happy reunion with Fulvio, Lee, Stefania and Daria. And already several great dinners in the Trattoria.

To finish on a personal note: We are a family of four, living near (another) medieval city of Bruges (also called “Venice of the North”) in Belgium. The eldest daughter (Manon) is already at university, and Mauranne is still at secondary school. Professionally we are both active in the software industry and while at Borgo di Vagli we enjoy the Italian people, culture, food/wine and Tuscan landscape.

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Mr & Mrs Patrick van Englan Antwerpen, Belgium

The idea of having a holiday home in Tuscany has always been a dream of ours, but like many others, we struggled to justify the investment of a second home in Tuscany versus the amount of time we would actually be able to enjoy it, not to mention the maintenance issues! However, our interest was rekindled when we read an article in De Staandard a couple of years ago about this beautifully restored Tuscan Hamlet. So we read with interest of the fractional ownership private residence club concept and before long we had booked a long weekend discovery visit.

We were not disappointed – on arrival we were welcomed like old friends and settled in and enjoyed a wonderful meal in the hamlet’s restaurant. And when we woke up the following morning and saw the view down the valley we were hooked and purchased into the one bedroom residence category.

It is our “Casa in Toscana” and we thoroughly enjoy our holidays there and meeting other owners from around the world. We like the sense of owning in a community of like-minded people and as the grounds are extensive with many terraces to read and relax or hike or pic-nic, owners can choose to be as private or sociable as they please.

We returned twice last year and on our second visit stayed for three consecutive weeks, our daughter also enjoyed herself at Borgo di Vagli when she stayed there with some friends in 2010.

The reservations privileges are very flexible; we normally book three weeks in advance but have enjoyed space available weeks and a short notice stay too.

There is so much to see and do in the surrounding area and I don’t think we will ever tire of exploring the area. Favourite half-day trips of ours are Cortona and Castiglion del Largo on Lake Trasimeno. And every first weekend of the month the antiques market in Arezzo. And our private secret is the little lingerie shop in Sienna near San Francesco: delicious! Owners can also take a train from Cortona/Camucia to Florence or Rome for day trips.

We have become good friends with Stefania and her friendly team and of course other owners and look forward to seeing them each time we return. We are busy with short trips to other European destinations this year and will have booked a three week stay for later in the year.

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