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A Philosophy of life
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Bruce Melton, New Hampshire USA

Back in May of 2011, I was looking at potentially purchasing a piece of land in either Tuscany or Umbria with the intention of restoring the existing structure on the property. I was fortunate in having a good friend, a US Architect, who had successfully done this in Montone. After spending 2 weeks looking at various opportunities I came to the realization that maybe this undertaking was more complicated than I wanted to be involved in. On my friend’s advice, I switched my search to a number of fractional properties, which had much simpler owner involvement. After visiting Borgo di Vagli, I had a meeting with Lee and we made the deal on a “handshake”. Borgo, for me, was the clear choice because of the perfect restoration done by Fulvio, and the air of exclusivity which was evident by the location. Since 2011 I have visited many times with family and friends – always a good experience, as well as meeting other owners and making new friends. One thing I enjoy when I am there is talking with potential owners on their Discovery Visits, answering their questions and sharing the great things to see and do within one hour drive.

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Michael, Susan and Natalie Farver, Plantation, Florida USA

We will never forget the moment we first pulled to a stop in front of the reception office of Borgo di Vagli on a glorious late-afternoon fall day for the beginning of our inspection visit. The valley below us was bathed in brilliant sunshine and shadows, the wind blew gently and I remember reaching across the roof of our car, grasping Susan’s hand and saying, “I think we’re home.” After a kind and loving welcome from the entire staff, we unpacked and settled in. Shortly, we ventured down to the Trattoria for a meal we will always remember. The room was full, and we were welcomed with genuine warmth and engagement by everyone already enjoying dinner. Looking back, I marvel now at how easily, and immediately, we were embraced as part of the Borgo family, even though we didn’t know a soul. That quickly changed as the night wore on, and conversations and connections were made.

Borgo is not for everyone. It is not a place or a destination where every moment is scripted or planned. Just like that first night of our inspection visit, you never know who you will be sharing dinner with in the trattoria on any given night, but I do know that you can be certain they will be interesting, adventurous and enlightening. We have made many life-long friends, including many we met that first night. We have shared laughter, tears and secrets that I know wouldn’t be shared in any other environment. The closeness among owners and guests alike is genuine, real, and incredibly rewarding.


Greetings, fellow owners and lovers of all things Borgo di Vagli. I was thrilled when Lee asked me to write a bit about our family for the Vagli Echo. Susan and I were one of the first (actually, #10) purchasers of our 1/10th Fractional interest in the Hamlet, back on November 12, 2006. We signed the paperwork a bit before dinner, sitting at the dining room table in Unit #18, less than 20 hours after we had arrived for our inspection trip. Not that I kept notes …

I’ve always been somewhat dismissive of throwing around terms like “destiny” or “fate,” as I’ve always believed that I have some measure of control over my own life, but we both knew, as we stepped from the car on the day before, with complete and absolute certainty that we were exactly where we were supposed to be. It was for us a life-altering moment in ways that we would have never imagined, and now, 11 years later, I am humbled and amazed at the impact that our decision that day has had on each of us.

But why Borgo di Vagli? I’ll share the answer to that question that I gave to another group of dear friends who will be visiting the Hamlet as our guests in a few months. I told them that “Borgo is a chance to step back and experience a simpler time, to embrace a philosophy of life that no longer exists in all of our high-pressure lifestyles. It’s not a resort open to the public; there is no health club, spa, golf course, or over-priced gift shop. What Borgo does have are unique residences with original stone floors, open beam ceilings and slate roofs, surrounded by hills of wild rosemary and lavender, towering woods filled with deer, porcupine, wild boar and foxes, miles of hiking paths, and views of the surrounding mountains and the ruins of the 10th- century Pierle Castle that would put a postcard to shame. It is a magical place. Borgo inspires you and lifts your heart. It touches your soul and changes your life.”

Susan, Natalie and I know that it has changed ours.

Little did we know that back in 2006. We were at the time a family blessed to have been able to travel the world, and although Italy had always held a special place in our hearts, we had visited the country previously in embarrassingly stereotypical tourist style – too much luggage, too big of a car, and an “If today is Tuesday, it must be Lucca” mentality. We originally viewed our investment as an opportunity to find sanctuary, and peace, from the complex, high-pressure and stressful reality of two successful careers that consumed us. Borgo seemed a chance to turn inward – to unwind and breath deep, to languish at a pace that we alone determined. And Borgo does offer that in a unique way, different than any other place we have ever been, before or since.

On the more practical side, although it is a sanctuary in the truest sense of the word, we have found that Borgo’s central location is one of its greatest assets. It is only fifteen kilometres from Cortona; a couple hours away from Chianti, Montalcino and the all best wines and vineyards in Italy; less than two hours to Siena, a two-hour train ride to Rome, or a quick drive to unique and special places like Castiglione del Lago, or the jewel-box walled city of Montrone, the Pecorino cheeses of Pienza or Umbrian gems like Montefalco and Bevagna. The majority of Italy is open to us for exploration, although we have to admit that once settled into Borgo, one’s spirit does not want to leave. It is this unique combination of total seclusion, located right in the center of everything, which makes the hamlet so alluring.

But it is more, so much more than that. The Hamlet now truly is our home in Italy, and the entire staff has, from the moment we stepped out of our rental car in front of Reception in 2006, become our family. Not just our Italian family, but family in the truest sense of the word, whether it’s the awe and magic of meeting and holding, for the first time, Stefania and Daria’s newborn infants this past Easter, or rooting for Simone and “The Pines” in the annual festival and competition in Mercatale. Borgo has given us uncountable life-altering moments that seem to appear out of thin air: Sitting on one of the terraces watching from a wrought iron chair while Susan filled the stillness with laughter, picking olives with Dina as the sun sank over the side of the mountain. Or our daughter Natalie, who made her first trip to the hamlet in a stroller when she was just over two years-old, experiencing snow for the first time in her life, smiling and making snow angels after a sudden afternoon snow squall. Or Dina & Tiziana in the kitchen, lovingly teaching Natalie to roll out pasta and make her 1st pizza dough when she was four. Or standing together in total darkness, watching a full lunar eclipse while sipping Lemoncello with a dozen old, and new, friends after an amazing meal and night of fellowship in I’cche c’é c’é.

Borgo di Vagli is, to our family, comprised of three very distinct elements. First, there is the hamlet itself. The scope of the restoration is stunning and completely true to its roots and origins. Fulvio’s vision, passion for detail and imagination are on full display, and his philosophy of seamlessly blending architecture and environment to create balance and harmony is a joy to experience.

Second is the amazing, kind and loving staff. Our Borgo family has helped raise our daughter, teaching and sharing their lives with her. Thanks to technology, we stay in constant communication, and they share in everything from her piano recitals and theater performances to birthday parties to her latest 7th grade adventures. Everyone is like a surrogate parent to our precious little girl, and she has been enriched beyond measure by their engagement in her life. They are the bedrock of the close community that exists among owners and visitors. In addition to our visits several times a year, we have used the benefits of our fractional ownership to send dozens of dear friends and family to experience the magic themselves, and every single person confirms that they have never been treated with more kindness, respect and consideration, wherever they have traveled, than they receive at Borgo.

Third are the other owners and guests with whom we are privileged to share the unique experience that is Borgo di Vagli. You never know who you will be sharing dinner with in the trattoria on any given night, but you can be certain that they will be interesting, adventurous and enlightening. We have made many life-long friends; have shared laughter, tears and secrets that wouldn’t be shared in any other environment. The closeness is genuine, real, and incredibly rewarding.

One final thought: Borgo is not for everyone. It is not a place to see or be seen, or a destination where every moment is scripted or planned. But for people whose dreams it fulfils, like ours, it is a joy and treasure beyond measure.

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Steve and Frances Brookner, Maryland, USA

Frances and I are new owners of a 2nd interest at Vagli and we could not be happier. Our first interest, a two-bedroom, purchased a few years ago was perfect for us; perhaps too perfect. We visited as a couple and visited with our two daughters. We also used the program’s flexibility to book multiple residences at the same time so we could share the experience with ten close friends all of whom were tired of hearing about the hamlet and wanted to share the experience.

We have now been to Vagli during each of the four seasons. Each has its charms whether it’s the budding of flowers during the cool mornings in the spring or the rustling sound of the boars forging for fruit and nuts that have fallen from the trees in the fall. We have been to Vagli when every residence has been occupied in the summer and have enjoyed the solitude of being the hamlet’s only resident during the winter. Again, each time has its advantages whether it’s the camaraderie in I’ cche c’è c’è on pizza night or the starry winter nights enjoyed by the fire with wine.

So why a second unit? In the short-term we are visiting Vagli 4x annually and wanted the flexibility that having a second interest affords; especially when inviting guests. And, although the hideaway beds in the living rooms are comfortable, it gives our guests and ourselves more privacy to have two residences. Longer term having two interests ensures that the hamlet remains an integral part of our family vacationing. Frances and I envision a future when our daughters and their significant others (and perhaps grandchildren) share the two bedroom and we occupy the one bedroom. Scary enough, our eldest daughter and her boyfriend just enjoyed their first solo visit this spring.

Lastly, we purchased a second interest at Vagli because it’s not only a place where we bring family and friends to, but many of the staff at the hamlet have become like extended family as well. There is nothing quite like the feeling of anticipation we have when turning onto the last 2km of dirt road on the way to the hamlet knowing that the views will again take our breath away, knowing that the atmosphere will melt away whatever worries we came with, and knowing that we will be greeted like long lost family when we reach the reception office.

We look forward to returning again this weekend with several friends. Lee you had better stock the wine cellar.

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David and Susan Di Paolo Tyler, Texas USA

My wife, Sue and I first learned of Borgo di Vagli in 2009, through an associate of my cousin John, who offered us a stay at the Hamlet for a week. The hamlet was a radical departure and pleasant surprise after spending nights in uninspired rooms of traditional hotel chains. The familial quality of Borgo di Vagli was immediately apparent. I did a discovery visit a few years letter, but finances only permitted us to make the investment in fractional ownership last year. As an offspring of Italian parents (from Abruzzo and Campania) who emigrated to the US before I was born, I experienced a sense of “returning home” — of reclaiming a bit of my Italian heritage — through the decision to become an owner. (Our decision to purchase could much better be categorised as a lifestyle investment than a financial investment — given the opportunity to experience the many benefits of Tuscany and nearby regions. The Borgo’s convenient location as a jumping off point for day trips, its ability to serve as a place to meet like-minded travellers and develop new friendships, and its being a respite from the hectic pace in the States were all plusses. The charm of the hamlet was such that it inspired a village for a young adult fiction novel I authored in 2014, as well as a short poem for an upcoming book.) My family plans to return annually.

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Greg and Diane Cortese, Sanibel Island, Florida USA

During the past three years, we have vacationed in Europe and each trip included a visit to the Tuscan region. We discussed purchasing a home or apartment in Tuscany since we fell in love with its small towns, rich history, and vista views. During our research, we learned about fractional ownership. A perfect fit for us since we live in the United States. Following further research, we discovered Borgo di Vagli. After several emails and phone conversations with Lee and fractional owner, Michael Farver and lots of pictures and videos, we decided to become owners – site unseen!! Perfect for us in the heart of Tuscany with its stunning views, relaxing atmosphere, and easy travel to other parts of the Tuscan region and Italy.

Our first visit in September was amazing. The staff, Daria and Lucia, were welcoming, helpful, and very patient in answering our questions. Fulvio Di Rosa, the founder of this 14th century hamlet, was the consummate host at our first dinner! Loved listening to the history of how Borgo di Vagli came to life. We finally got to meet Lee who was just as friendly and helpful.

The food at the Trattoria, I’ cche c’è c’è, was a five star Tuscan feast cooked by Dina and Tizana. Pizza night was a hit as well.

We plan on visiting Borgo annually to get our fix of our Tuscan paradise.

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Tony and Wendy Yeldell, Woodbridge, Virginia USA

The Discovery Visit program provided us with an opportunity to experience BDV as a visitor and we quickly became family. We met other owners and visitors and immediately felt welcome. We even extended our trip in order to soak up a bit more of the BDV ambiance. I am bringing my sister and aunt to visit BDV this fall. I know they will fall in love with it like I did.


I fell in love with Italy during my first visit to Vicenza many years ago and never forgot the beauty of Venice, the delicious food. I was hooked. I am also a fan of the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”. After I watched it the first time, the memories of beautiful Italy came rushing back. I suggested (hounded) Tony about returning to Italy. I also made him sit through “Under the Tuscan Sun” with me again. :). It was after watching the movie that I went online and started researching future trips to Italy and became curious when I came across an advertisement for Borgo di Vagli on one of the pages.

I submitted an inquiry and started my research. Tony basically said if I planned the trip, he would go, so I arranged a Discovery Visit; everyone was so warm and welcoming and we wanted to return. Vagli is the perfect base that allows exploring during the day and relaxation at night. Each visit we have met wonderful people that we have truly enjoyed. The food is absolutely delicious and worth the trip. Pizza night is my favorite, followed very closely with October’s Olive Oil dinner.

The key factor was whether we were committed to traveling to the same location every year. Our trip this year convinced us that we made the right decision. We planned day trips and had a wonderful time. The decision to become an owner at BDV is a combination lifestyle (frequent international travel) and a financial investment. Our plans include yearly (at least) trips to Vagli. We have visited in July and October and I wonder what it’s like in the winter.

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Mr. Enrico Capraro and Mrs. Josephine Baiamonte Washington USA

A woman once told me that having now reached adulthood, I should put my dreams in a drawer and every once in a while, when I grew melancholic, I could open up that drawer to sort through all my dreams before turning my attention to reality. And so, following the advice of this sage woman, I kept one rather persistent dream in my small drawer – as a matter of fact, it was the only dream that occupied the drawer- to own a home in Italy! Although to some her advice may appear at first glance to be rather negative and pessimistic, as it turned out, for me this became a battle cry! Please indulge me as I share our story with you….

My husband and I could have written our own saga of “North and South.” You see, he hails from the top of the Italian boot – the northern region of Veneto, Italy and I am from the south – specifically, the island of Sicily – a much smaller territory seemingly being kicked by the boot. Enrico and I met in Washington D.C. 23 years ago. He ventured to D.C., after graduating from college, driven by the curiosity of a country in which he was born and lived with his parents until the age of 7. I on the other hand, was born in Sicily and remained there with my parents, until I was also seven, when we moved to the United States.

To make a long story short, we met one sunny Sunday at the Holy Rosary Church in Washington, D.C. (did I also mention this was the very Church where Enrico was christened as a baby and where his parents had also wed? But I digress…). Much to our mutual delight, we soon realized we had many things in common – not only broad topics of interest but the very fact that we shared a common heritage and love of Italy. He expressed his interest to learn more about America while I expressed my heart’s desire to return to Italy.

After a whirlwind week of dating, I realized the relationship was doomed to end because I was moving to NY to accept a job, before leaving for Italy again, where another job was waiting for me. Although Enrico promised to visit, the thought of a long distance relationship was far from palatable… Surprisingly enough, Enrico proposed and I accepted! Insane as this all sounds, I am glad to say things worked out rather well for us (although I shudder to think what I would do if my daughter would attempt a similar scenario!).

We have been blessed with four wonderful children. The oldest, Gianluca, is graduating from the University of Michigan this Spring and we are happy to report, is also fully employed. Our second son Alessandro is a sophomore at the University of Maryland, our third son is a junior in high school, and our daughter is in her second year of middle school. We all still vacation together every year as a family, and very often the kids bring a friend or two along to join us in our travels.

Despite all the years that have gone by, there has always been a consistency in our lives accentuated by the simple fact that we are both Italian and have a yearning for the simplicity that we cannot seem to find in our busy lives in the United States. Our lives are similar to those of so many – we both have jobs we love but which bring stresses of decisions; we live in a fast paced city where there never seems to be any time for leisure, compounded by the fact that our activities have multiplied with each of our very active children. Add to this the ever growing traffic of incoming emails, other social media and community obligations and the results are pretty overpowering. To disengage is impossible.

With each passing year, and ever increasing financial obligations, it seemed more impossible that we could ever entertain the possibility of owning a home in Italy. The specific location in Italy also presented its own dilemma. Enrico being from Venice, envisioned our home to be in Venice; inasmuch as I had grown to love Venice, dreams of Tuscany still haunted me ever since I studied there as a college student.

One day, quite by accident, I stumbled on an article in the New York Times that addressed the benefits of fractional ownership – at the top of their list was the investment opportunity offered by Borgo di Vagli. The article addressed every hesitation that had always proven to be an obstacle when considering purchasing our own property in Italy. How could we handle the expense on our own with other competing priorities? Who would take care of the home while we were away? One by one, the article provided clear answers to questions that seemed so complex. I quickly accessed the weblink they provided and found a portal into my dream. I scoured every inch of the Borgo di Vagli website, not once but countless times – so much so, that it soon became a habit. I visited this website so often that I committed it to memory. For seven years I did nothing but entertain the dream of one day owning my own piece of a much treasured dream that crystallized into Tuscany and Borgo di Vagli. I remember quite vividly the day that Lee Cogher called me. He had obviously noted my “tenured” position on the Borgo di Vagli distribution and had called to ask whether I would be interested in a visit. I can’t explain how befuddled I reacted when Lee called me. I had visited that website so often that Lee and Fulvio had both become celebrities in my mind (and I am happy to report that upon meeting them they met my “celebrity” status).

And so, seven years went by. Borgo di Vagli remained a favorite topic of my conversation. Anyone close to me knew that I had fallen in love with this hamlet despite never having had the occasion to visit. This all changed in October 2015. My husband surprised me for my milestone birthday by booking a discovery visit at Borgo. He was astutely aware of how much I loved Tuscany – he had also had the pleasure of my guided tours through the Borgo website. I was beside myself. Once we boarded the plane, however, Enrico started lecturing… reminding me this was only a visit and that this was not going to result in a purchase. Fine. I knew that would be the case but again, a girl could dream.

We spent our first starlit night at Borgo enchanted by everything that surrounded us. Stefania couldn’t have been more welcoming and we can both still taste Dina’s impeccable dinner on our palates. Over the next several days we were allowed to roam the hamlet and soak in the quiet to our hearts’ content. Most notably we appreciated that that no one chased after us to discuss purchasing. As the week progressed, to my amazement, I watched my husband fall in love with Borgo di Vagli. My love affair with the website was nothing compared to what we were experiencing. Finally, during one of our last dinners at Borgo, we were invited to sit at the main table, along with several other home owners, Lee and Fulvio. The chemistry at the table was palpable. It was quite incredible to me that all of us, unique in our own respects with regard to language, country of birth and country of residence, had one very critical element in common – an adoration for the simplicity of life we had all found in Tuscany. That dinner will remain for us, one of our fondest memories during our stay – we entered as strangers but departed as friends. Soon thereafter Enrico realized that we could not let this opportunity pass us by and that we had to own our own piece of this dream.

We see our purchase of Borgo di Vagli not just as an investment opportunity – it is much deeper than that – it is an investment in a way of life. This will be something that will continue to nurture our souls and restore our physical and mental energies. It is also something that we will lovingly share with our children (and yes, one day our future grandchildren). We will be coming to Borgo di Vagli this July with our entire family and are looking forward to taking advantage of every opportunity to return as often as possible – even just the two of us. We purchased a two bedroom with the added benefit of unlimited space available. We are extremely excited about the added flexibility this will afford us.

Borgo di Vagli represents for us a reminder that despite the frenzy of our lives and whatever technological advances push us forward, there is a deep seated human need to return to a simpler existence that brings us back to the basics we ultimately crave and require – the tranquility of rolling hills, the beauty of a mountain landscape, good food, good wine, family and friends. This is a dream that was never meant to be hidden in a drawer.

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Joe and Kathleen Celentano, Mission Viejo, CA USA

We first heard about the Hamlet from our good friends and existing owners at Vagli, Rich and Ginny Linting. They talked so enthusiastically about the Hamlet that we simply had to check it out for ourselves. We arranged accommodation and enjoyed our stage and as we were driving away on the last day, we thought we would never come back. But as time went by we kept thinking of our time at the Hamlet more and more. I emailed Lee of our interest and he answered our questions and we bought in, and we are glad we did.

We love all the great taste of Tuscany, the olives, olive oil, cheese and meats and the great wines. We really like exploring the many different restaurants and markets to find great food. Not to mention Dina’s great meals!

We usually plan a different vacation each year, rarely returning to the same place twice and our purchase at the Hamlet was made easier with the ability to exchange our weeks with the Elite Alliance. Our children have already kiddingly asked us who gets the ownership of Borgo when Kathy and I pass (hopefully no time to soon). We hope to return at least every year and are trying different months during the year to find which time we like best. We are looking forward to our vacation this year and we hope to bring some friends.

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Susan and Joe Gimilaro, New Hampshire USA

Last summer our family spent a month in Umbria and Tuscany. We had a wonderful trip! When we returned home, we spent many nights reminiscing about it (and missing it). The countryside was so beautiful, the people so welcoming, the food and wine divine. Yes, we missed it. Of particular interest to me, though, was Cortona. I hadn’t expected this hilltop town to be so lively! I wondered about its recent history – had it always been so lively or did Under the Tuscan Sun have an influence? I spent time reading the blog of Frances Mayes. It was in her blog that I found Borgo di Vagli.

We read about Borgo and spoke with Lee, but we put thoughts of Borgo aside as the end of the year and holidays were fast approaching. Lee reached out to us in the new year just as the US dollar exchange rate was excellent. We thought it was a good time to schedule a Discovery visit, especially since it had been a long snowy winter of New Hampshire. We arrived at Borgo in April – and, of course, woke one morning to snow! It very quickly melted and became a glorious day.

What we loved about Borgo was the history, the restoration, the beauty, and the peacefulness. Especially appealing was the sense of community and, as Fulvio says, the philosophy of life. We were here with interesting and likeminded people from various countries and different backgrounds. Yet, we had that same philosophy of life. We felt the sense of release from the day to day ‘stuff’ in our busy lives. And the staff and Dina’s cooking – well, that was just icing on the cake!

Within a few months we became fractional owners at Borgo. We are so glad we did. While our children, Sarah, 28, and Joe, 23, have not visited Borgo yet, we know they will love it here, too. As I write this, I am enjoying a glass of wine in my Borgo residence, looking forward to Dina’s famous pizza night at this little hamlet in the hills.

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Stuart Schwartzreich, Mamaroneck, NY

We first discovered Vagli via the Internet. I had just made my first trip to Tuscany and had a real attraction to the area for a number of reasons. So, we starting doing some research on how I could take advantage of what Tuscany has to offer on a more regular basis. We consider Tuscany/Borgo as our second home! There is a definitive allure to this very special region of Italy. We have traveled a lot around the world, but Tuscany had that special “something” and we wanted to take a long term approach to this part of the world so I started looking at all of the options with regard to procuring a place in Tuscany. Fractional ownership made the most sense on both a short term and long term. We consider buying at Borgo as a lifestyle investment, a great way to fully experience Tuscany vs our current lifestyle in the U.S. and of course, it is a financial investment: that was an important consideration, but of secondary importance. Our plans are to return each and every year. We want to further experience the whole regain on a number of levels: The food, the wine, the culture, the scenery/architecture, and so much more. We consider Tuscany/Borgo as our second home!

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Steve and Frances Brookner, Maryland, USA

My wife Frances and I have been visiting Italy since our honeymoon in 1989. Our trips have been across Italy but have concentrated in Tuscany and Umbria. Despite having visited close to 40 times we have thirsted for something more permanent. This resulted in perhaps five years of searching for possible properties to purchase. The problems with full ownership were hard to overcome however as we have only 3-5 weeks of annual vacation before retirement, property management seemed daunting from afar and, while we appreciate beautiful surroundings, we hardly had any interest in partaking in the upkeep of property during our time away.

We first heard about Borgo di Vagli approximately five years ago. Our interest was immediately piqued but we were skeptical about whether Fractional Ownership would work for us and whether the Hamlet would be as nice as it looked on the Internet. Skepticism gave way to exploration and the beginning of a dialogue with Lee Cogher. Lee quelled our fears and the advantages of Fractional Ownership were apparent. It seemed that we would have optimal flexibility without any of the headaches! Last year on our 25th anniversary trip back to Italy, we visited Borgo di Vagli and immediately fell in love. We were charmed as we drove up the 2km road and laid eyes on the buildings and surrounding vineyards. We toured the property and ate a wonderful al fresco lunch under the pergola with Lee and met the wonderful resort director Stefania. On the way to the car our decision was made. Borgo was going to be our new home in Italy.

We consummated our purchase in July and the rest is history. Our first trip in January with our close friends was fantastic. Over wine on the last night we spoke about how all our expectations had been surpassed. The residence was great and the views were fantastic. More importantly though we felt at home; we were part of something more.

We will visit the Hamlet again in April with more friends and then in August with our two daughters whose college schedules have kept them from joining us on our first two trips. They can’t wait to see their new Italy abode for themselves as we have been regaling them with stories of our trip and pictures. We will round out this year with an October visit. That would make winter, spring, summer and fall visits all in the same year. Sounds like home to us.

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Rob and Nancy Chimsky, Kenwood, Sonoma, California USA

In 2006, we were seriously considering the possibility of purchasing a home in Italy, preferably in Tuscany and in the vicinity of Lucca. Nancy’s maternal grandparents were originally from Lucca and we felt drawn to that area. We also wanted a place that we could share with others including Nancy’s large family, Rob’s small family and many friends who love Italy as much as we do.

Our main concern was that we would only be able to spend a short amount of time each year until we were into our retirement years and that was at least 10 -15 years in the future. We live in Northern California in the Sonoma Valley in the small village of Kenwood, and we have a long and costly trip to get to Italy, so that also played into our considerations. From our thoughts to God’s ears, serendipity stepped in and we were surprised by mail with a lovely invitation to tour a fractional property located between Lucca and Pisa!! This property was nowhere near the beauty nor did it have the fascinating history of Borgo di Vagli, but it was a great compromise for our concerns.

Having a property managed for us made sense due to the short amount of time that we could afford in our schedules. Well, it was an interesting introduction to fractional ownership, but not exactly what we had in mind since they were trying to sell us a property that was not yet built!! They were using the property we stayed at to give us a sense of what the project they were selling would look like but neither of us felt comfortable purchasing something that was not even tangible as yet. Well, fortunately we looked on the internet prior to our trip and we booked an introductory visit with Borgo di Vagli.

We arrived very late at night in early November of 2006 which made our initial drive up the winding road quite an adventure in the pitch black dark to say the least!! It was late at night, we felt lost and we were very tired. We thought we would never want to drive up and down routinely whenever we came to be there. And we were very concerned that we had made a mistake. Little did we know what awaited us the days to come.

Well all of us who have since had the pleasure of waking up at Borgo di Vagli and the glorious views, we felt very enamored and totally differently from the first night! We the had the pleasure of meeting with the handsome, charming and delightful Lee Cogher (see Lee I said I would give you a good plug, haha) and the rest is history! We signed up for a 2 bedroom unit the next day and had a wonderful and magical time exploring all of the fantastic places that are so accessible from the great location that the hamlet provides as a mid-point to not only Tuscany but Umbria as well! We began to explore places like Assisi, Gubbio, the wineries of Montalcino and Montepulciano and really opened up our love of the “gems” in Italy that we had not been to before. Our love for the people working and managing Borgo di Vagli like Dina and her daughter Tiziana, Stefania,and eventually those who have been or are still with the family we have grown to love more and more. The drive up the rugged road that leads you to the heavenly destination became a thing of humorous jokes and laughter with all it’s winding and occasional bumps and carries some great memories dodging the porcupine, cinghiale, foxes, and other cars!

Within less than a year in September of 2007, Rob was celebrating his 50th birthday and we decided that Borgo di Vagli was the perfect setting! We invited his parents Matt and Jean and another couple, the Goldsteins, to join us as well as Father Murray Bodo (aka “Luigi”) to join in the celebration…by the way, Father Bodo, a Franciscan monk and priest, is quite well known as the author of well over 50 books on Saint Francis, which have been published in many languages all over the world and he leads pilgrimages of Saint Francis’ journeys every year starting in September! Well one of my favorite memories is when Father Bodo stepped out of the car when we drove him up to Borgo di Vagli for the first time. His authentic words meant so much and spoke the truth. He said, “Oh Saint Francis would have loved it here!” In my opinion that said it all… that visit in 2007 we decided to invest in another unit and we bought an additional 1 bedroom! That was a great gift for Rob’s 50th Birthday!! Once again, captured by the charms of Borgo di Vagli and Lee, as well as having met Fulvio Di Rosa on that visit for the first time was a wonderful treat! Nancy is an Interior designer with a flare for the Tuscan style and fell in love with Fulvio’s sense of passion from the beginning, but meeting him was like meeting a mentor that you know you could follow around and learn so much from for all of his vision and brilliance, as well as his love for the true Tuscan way of life!

We have many memories of our peaceful quiet moments, the beautiful experiences convening with nature, meeting new friends and fellow owners, our hilarious laughing fests, our fabulous meals at the trattoria, especially Pizza Night with all the other owners, and of course, the tearful goodbyes that we can only pray are never goodbyes but only a brief arrivederci!

We are forever very grateful for the love and experiences we have had and look forward to more in the future at our “home away from home”. A true testament of the kind of love that exists for us at Borgo di Vagli was even more pronounced when we were unable to visit for 5 years due to a health condition that Nancy suffers with and so she was not able to travel at all, especially internationally. Well this year in September and again for Rob’s birthday, we were welcomed to the warm hugs from beautiful Stefania and all the others, a huge bouquet in our unit, the aroma of Dina’s fabulous meals from the wood-fired oven, Lee’s humor and updates, Fulvio’s brilliance and stories, new friends and their loved ones, new experiences, lots and lots of great wine and food, and of course the tears were streaming… WE WERE HOME AGAIN!!

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Mr Mark Elston and Ms Alexandra Garcia, San Jose, CA, USA

We happened to find out about Borgo di Vagli quite by accident. While planning a trip to Europe in the fall of 2010 an Internet search turned up the hamlet and it peaked our curiosity. It was a very intriguing project and the location, as virtually everyone would say, captured our imaginations to spend time in such a wonderful place. We were already planning to spend time in Tuscany as we came down from Venezia and to end in Roma. So we scheduled a few days to visit the hamlet on our way. We hadn’t really thought about buying a vacation property anywhere really, even before our first visit. But once here, we were captured by the magic of the place: the beautiful landscape, the serenity, the diversity of guests and last but certainly not least, Dina’s cooking, made us realize this is a place we would like to return many times. Plus the great location allows you to explore many nearby locales and even re-explore those places that you have already been.

We knew having ownership in the hamlet was going to be a great investment; Tuscany it is one of the most desired locations, and that combined with the beauty of Borgo di Vagli made it almost perfect. However we knew we would face challenges because of the time it takes to travel to get here – being on the west coast of the US mainland, we can’t easily drop-in for a weekend. Also, we both work and don’t have unlimited vacation time that we can take. After considering this we decided it still worth it if we can visit at least once per year, and spend at least 2 weeks on a visit. The Registry Collection also allows us some domestic destinations from time-to-time when we can’t make it to the hamlet. This really made it more effective for us and we’ve enjoyed the flexibility it allows us.

Unlike timeshare, which is typically considered not to be a good investment, we think Fractional Ownership at Vagli at the flexibility it offers tangible value. And with the volatility of the stock markets in recent years it may be a more stable haven at least. For us it’s really more of a lifestyle investment that gives us many options, and if in the end it appreciates, then that’s a bonus. We have visited twice in a couple of years but we try to visit the hamlet at least once per year. We’ve made it here in most every season allowing us to experience the beauty of Tuscany in different ways. Driving, hiking and even renting a bicycle has allowed some exploration of the local hills and roads that we would have not normally seen.

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Chuck and Carol Hamilton, Connecticut USA

Chuck’s story…
From our first visit to Italy, we wanted more: to visit more, see more, and in some ineffable way to delve deeper what is such a fascinating part of the world. We knew we would feel at home in Italy (and also knew we didn’t want to buy a home). We wanted to settle in, explore and revisit amazing towns, cities and vistas. We wanted to relax and breath in the rejuvenating air.

I saw several ads for time-shares in Italy, but had never been convinced of the value of investing. And the printed materials I did see of these places presented facilities that looked fake and were very, very expensive. Then I saw a small piece in The New York Times about Borgo di Vagli. The next time in Italy we visited. I still remember turning that corner and seeing Pierle Castle and then the drive up to this unassuming and delightful small hamlet. Borgo was not just truly authentic, it had a private and understated feeling of solid quality. It was the kind of low-key and romantic “home” we wanted.

We talked to our two sons and arranged to make the purchase in their names. I guess the best way to put it is that we all see purchasing at Borgo as an investment in our lives. On the next trip, our younger son, Douglas joined us. Simply getting lost during our hikes was a highlight.

Since I have annual business nearby, Borgo became a perfect place for us for those few days a year. And it is so much more. It is a base for travelling. We love to visit and revisit so many places. I am sure I will regret this someday, but most of the time in our travels in Tuscany and Umbria, I now forget to bring a map. We rarely get lost now and when we do, it is lovely. We have particularly come to appreciate much of Umbria. Whether it is Cortona in Tuscany or Montefalco 90 minutes away in Umbria, we love both the familiarity we feel and exploring deeper into what is new.

Perhaps most important for me, Borgo is a true respite. I can work if I have to, but it is a place to relax, read, walk, explore and “recharge my batteries”.

Carol’s story…

The landscape of Tuscany and Umbria is incomparable and enhanced by this sensitively restored 14th century hamlet. The surrounding hill towns of Italy have given birth to a legacy of fine art and it is a pleasure to roam the region, with or without a plan, and visit its churches and museums.

Apart from Italy’s fine art and landscape, the fruits of Tuscany and Umbria have become my particular interest. As a botanical artist and illustrator, I have been studying the tree fruits, many of which surround the hamlet. I am currently painting a series of tree fruits. I have begun with peaches, plums, cherries, apricot and figs, and am gathering research photos and sketches for pomegranate, pear, almond, apple, olive and chestnuts.

While we thoroughly enjoy Borgo’s own celebrated I’cche c’é c’é an additional blessing we have is the opportunity to indulge in the local markets and bring back to the residence an abundance of the region’s seasonal bounty. We have been fortunate to bring back fresh porcini mushrooms, chestnuts, artichokes, homemade pastas and gnocchi, along with regional wines and cheeses. We often recall driving into the hills to visit a local cheese maker and his goats, and happily returning to Borgo with goat cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves. On our return drive we stopped at the roadside to gather our own chestnuts as they lay enticingly on the road back to Borgo. Icing on the cake was that our stay last year coincided with Pierle’s Festa della Castagna. We enjoyed making new Italian friends at this hometown chestnut festival.

It is the story of our busy lives that we don’t get to Borgo as often as we would like. Still, it is a regular part of our lives. (We have always been able to come when we have wanted to.) And yet, we talk and think of it often. Knowing that a small bit of it is “ours” is one of the most satisfying decisions we have made. We couldn’t be more pleased or more comfortable with our Borgo “habit”!

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Colin Higgins and Carolyn Hoffman, Massachusetts, USA

Colin and I are in the travel industry so traveling is a big part of our lives. We have traveled extensively and have been privileged to see and experience many unique and wonderful destinations but none hold that special place in our hearts that Italy does. We have always been drawn there for vacations but when we received an invitation to experience and own a piece of a 14th century hamlet we were intrigued. Was it near a landfill or in the middle of coal mines? Only a visit would answer our many questions. We told everyone that we were having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (no lie) in the world. We arrived for the weekend and proceeded to Borgo di Vagli! The first thing that took our breaths away was the 2 KM drive from Pierle. After arriving, and starting the first of many memorable meals at the Trattoria cooked by Dina, we were hooked. We couldn’t believe our luck at discovering this idyllic little spot with everything it has to offer and 24 hours later we were signing on the dotted line!

For us it is a chance to return over and over, as often as we can, to our magical part of Tuscany! A treat for the senses, and as our friends who have visited with us and unaccompanied, say “La Dolce Vita”!

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Ray and Sophia Ciaccio, Pennsylvania – USA

On our first trip to Italy, we fell in love… with the beauty and lifestyle of Italy. We dreamed of purchasing a vacation home in Tuscany. After a few months of research and many bottles of wine later, we realized that purchasing a home abroad was not as easy as one would hope. We began searching for alternatives options online and stumbled upon Borgo di Vagli and the fractional ownership concept purely by chance. We gathered and studied all the information and immediately booked an inspection trip and headed back to Italy.

As we first arrived at the hamlet we were greeted by a fantastic staff. It was love at first sight and we knew, almost instantly, that we had to buy in. The views are amazing and the residences are of traditional Tuscan motif. The ability to own a home in Italy without the concerns of maintenance and upkeep really peaked our interest.

During our inspection trip we were able to visit numerous Tuscan and Umbrian villages, with Florence just over an hour away. But more importantly there are numerous wineries throughout the region and festivals at any given time. Needless to say we signed up by the end of the trip.

We have been back numerous times (usually twice a year) and have made new friends and lasting memories. Our son, who is now five, has been traveling to the Borgo from the time he was twenty months old. I think he is considered part of the kitchen staff. They go above and beyond to entertain him. Dina’s pizza is his favorite meal.

We look forward to future visits and the ability to someday give our ownership to our son.

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Steve and Lota Hahn, Green Mills, Pennsylvania USA

We feel very blessed to have found Borgo di Vagli! We had been traveling to Italy since 2001, and had been leasing beautifully restored villas in various parts of Tuscany. We fell in love with Tuscany and Umbria and we dreamed that one day we could own there so we could have place to come with family and friends over the years.

Steve is half Italian and it seemed that the Italian way of life was one of those experiences we had to embrace.

On one of our trips we were with close friends of ours enjoying a cappuccino in one of Cortona’s beautiful piazza’s doing some serious people watching when our friend saw a flyer/map about Borgo di Vagli pinned to a board in the café. He handed it to us and said “this looks like a great place, maybe you should buy there!” We all laughed and thought “yeah, in our dreams!”

Unbeknown to the others, I folded it up and stuck it in my bag. Upon our return home, I (Lota) looked at the map/flyer and then did some research over the internet. We decided on our next trip that we would try to find the time to visit.

Our next visit was in October and we were traveling with all of Steve’s family and at the end of the trip Steve and I had arranged with Lee to make a discovery visit. We were so very excited about visiting this magical place.

Unfortunately, Steve’s elderly father fell at home towards the last days and his family had to return to the States sooner then expected and Steve and I contacted Lee to see if we could anticipate our discovery visit. Not a problem, and we were accommodated immediately.

Unlike others, we LOVED the road to the hamlet! It gave us our first feeling that this place was going to be truly authentic. We had a most wonderful dinner in the trattoria with Lee and owners from California, Joe and Gail. We spent a wonderfully peaceful night in a charming residence with views that were amazing.

We were so impressed that you could feel like you were really a part of a place that had so much history, yet had all the modern amenities. The next morning, our tour of the hamlet was a little rushed as we had to catch the plane home, but we could quickly see that this place was truly one of a kind. We had visited Borgo for less than 24 hours but we knew we belonged there.

Everything was perfect for us. The location, in Tuscany but near Umbria. My favorite Tuscan town was Cortona, so I was very pleased and probably the biggest factor in our decision was that we could share this place with our four children and eventually their spouses and eventually, grandchildren. We can leave and know that all is well, and never have to worry that our beautiful Tuscany Home is being taken care of. We consider Stefania, Daria, Dina, Tiziana and all the staff like our Italian family and they couldn’t be more helpful.

Our decision to join Club Borgo di Vagli was for the lifestyle that we love to share with our family and close friends. Nothing could be better!! Historically we try to visit minimum two times a year, a week or two at a time, but we look forward to the time when we can stay longer.

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Miss Meg O’Donnell, Miss Patricia Orr, Mr Thomas and Mrs Cathlene O’Donnell from Vermont, USA/West Virginia, USA

We have all loved traveling in Italy for a number of years and could not pass up the opportunity to own a small piece of Tuscany, as a lifestyle investment, a way to get to know one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, and as a base for further explorations.

Visiting Borgo di Vagli is like stepping back in time.  Its peace and quiet gives us an unparalleled holiday experience. We especially appreciated the Borgo’s location, and its convenience to not only Cortona but other popular hilltop towns that are great for day trips. We also liked the craftsmanship and care that went into the renovations, which make staying there feel “authentic” without sacrificing comfort.

We try and visit regularly and hope to visit even more when we retire. When we are unable to use our ownership we have sent friends who’ve all fallen in love with it too – it’s great to share with friends who also love Italy!

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Sue Pukall and Rick Wilson, Wisconsin, US

To understand our decision to purchase a fractional ownership in Italy, it may help to know that I lived in Germany for 10 years and had enjoyed many holidays to various areas in Italy.

When I moved back to the States, I missed the European lifestyle and hoped I would someday be able to spend part of the year in Europe. Even then, I joked with friends about buying a house in Tuscany a la Frances Mayes! After Rick and I met in 1999, we took many international trips but we were drawn back to northern Italy the most times. The climate is so nice, the towns and countryside so appealing, the food and wine – delicious!

We first read about Borgo di Vagli in an article in the International Herald Tribune in 2008.

It sounded like such an interesting place and concept. We requested information right away, but couldn’t imagine being able to make use of a 1/10th fractional ownership (four planned vacation weeks a year), given that we can’t take a lot of vacation (we manage a family business, care for elderly parents, etc.) Still, I could never quite get the place out of my head, and checked the Hamlet’s website occasionally to dream. Lee, also kept in touch every few months.

When we learned that Borgo di Vagli had decided to also offer 1/15th and 1/20th ownerships, we began thinking more seriously about ownership. Even if we still can’t get away for two full weeks every year, surely we have family members and friends who would want to take advantage of our unused weeks.

Rick’s daughters are now in their 20’s; wouldn’t it be wonderful for them to have a safe base from which to explore Tuscany and Umbria with friends?

I have to admit it was probably the notification of a price increase effective mid-2013 that prompted us to take action. I decided we were going to buy this fractional ownership sight unseen! After looking at the photos on the website so many times and for so many years, I felt I “knew” Borgo di Vagli already.

As business owners, we analyze investments and crunch numbers all the time, but this decision was made more with the heart than with the head. I think I asked Rick “is this crazy?” and his response was “let’s go for it.”

We finally visited the property in October 2013, four months after purchasing. We were absolutely delighted, no regrets. From the moment we arrived, we felt at home. Stefania and Daria in reception were so welcoming. We ate in Vagli’s trattoria the first night and were seated at a large table with other owners, all like us: people who enjoy traveling and finding special places.

The second night we were there, Mercatale, the tiny village down the road was celebrating its annual Chestnut Festival, and we went with a group that included the Hamlet’s architect, Fulvio; Lee; Stephania; Daria and her boyfriend; Dina, Vagli’s chef; and several owners.

It was a fun and cozy evening spent enjoying local food and wine and music amongst the local people, something it’s doubtful we would have experienced even if we had rented a house for a holiday.

Vagli’s setting suited us to a “t”: the restored 13th-Century buildings are authentic and upscale, but not flashy or pretentious. The hamlet isn’t “touristy”; it’s removed from the crowds without being remote. From our base at the Hamlet, we drove to Montepulciano and Pienza to sample wine; to Assisi to see how the town and Basilica have recovered from the earthquake in 1997; discovered Cortona for the first time; and reacquainted ourselves with Florence for a day. Daria assisted us with getting tickets to the Uffizi Gallery so we didn’t have to waste any time in line.

During our brief 5 days, we met other owners from the US, Canada, Norway and Wales, and were invited daily to join various activities. The highlight had to have been the evening Dina prepared a meal using Fulvio’s freshly-pressed olive oil. I have never tasted olive oil that flavorful. Dina even made gelato flavored with it and a liqueur that was out of this world!

Through our ownership in Borgo di Vagli, we joined the Elite Alliance exchange program, and will shortly be leaving on a ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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Professors Paul Escott and Candelas Gala, Winston-Salem, North Carolina USA

We were fortunate to hear of Borgo di Vagli rather early, and it quickly became a treasured part of our lives. Our work keeps us away during most of the year, but we look forward for months to our annual visit and think about the hiking, the vistas, the bright sun and dark nights, the fragrance of the broom, and the coolness and quiet inside the stone dwellings. The hamlet’s importance is all out of proportion to the time we are able to spend there.

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Michael, Susan & Natlaie Farver FL USA

Before I begin, I hope our fellow owners and readers will indulge me in beginning our story with another story. Actually, it’s not really a story. It’s a fairy tale, a dream come true:

It was mid-afternoon on November 11, 2006. The sun shined brightly and a slight breeze ruffled the trees, resplendent in shades of green red and gold, as Susan and I maneuvered our oversized rental car down the scenic two-kilometer gravel road to Borgo di Vagli. To say we were road weary would have been a major understatement – We had begun our adventure with a sleepless overnight flight from Miami, followed by an arrival delay that resulted in missing our connection in Paris. The resulting five-hour delay leaving for Florence, followed by an uncertain drive into a previously untraveled part of Italy, had conspired to deeply strain both our resolve and our good spirits.

A bigger question loomed. Why were we struggling so mightily to reach a place that, until a few weeks earlier, we had never even heard of? How did we get here? It had all started with an email out of the blue from a trusted travel advisor while we were sitting in our kitchen one balmy Florida evening. His message spoke of a magnificent medieval hamlet, meticulously restored and nestled in the hillsides of Tuscany. A sanctuary, a step back in time, a soulful refuge that under the watchful eye and romantic heart of Fulvio di Rosa had forged a spiritual connection with nature and the surrounding environment. We paused while eating dinner long enough to read the Architectural Digest article link he had included. It sounded like magic. It sounded like the kind of place that we had never experienced in our many previous trips to Italy, those stereotypical tourist visits that had always included too many cities, a succession of luxury hotels, concierge service, fancy dinners, and lots of luggage. And it sounded like it was just what we needed at that moment in our lives. It had been a difficult year and a challenging time that had already included two career changes, family troubles, the death of a parent and our family Doberman … And so before dessert, in a manner not at all in keeping with our usual thoughtful, well-planned, reasoned and professional approach to decision-making, we replied to his message: ”Yes. Please book us for a visit to Borgo di Vagli.”

All that and more was swirling through my head as we drove up the final hill past the entrance sign, took a right and pulled to a stop in front of Reception. I’ve always been somewhat dismissive of throwing around terms like “destiny” or “fate,” as I’ve always believed that I have some measure of control over my own life, but as we stepped from the car on that beautiful afternoon seven years ago, surrounded by majestic stone walls crowned with magnificent slate roofs, and gazed down as shadows of the clouds swept the valley below and the Pierle Castle shone in the distance, I knew, with complete and absolute certainty, that we were exactly where we were supposed to be. I reached for Susan’s hand and simply said, “Welcome home, my love.”

That is a true story. So it took us all of 48 hours to sign the paperwork and purchase our interest in the Hamlet. (We would have acted sooner, but Lee was tied up with another couple). We were one of the first dozen fractional owners, and after seven years and a dozen or so trips, I can say with even more passion and commitment that Borgo di Vagli is exactly what we imagined. It is in fact a unique sanctuary, a step back in time, a soulful refuge that shares a spiritual connection with nature and the surrounding environment. It is our home in Italy, and the entire staff has become our Italian family. Borgo has given us uncountable life-altering moments that seem to appear out of thin air: Watching from a wrought iron chair sitting on one of the terraces while Susan filled the stillness with laughter, picking olives with Dina as the sun sank over the side of the mountain. Or our daughter Natalie, who made her first trip to the hamlet in a stroller before her third birthday, experiencing snow for the first time in her life, smiling and making snow angels after a sudden afternoon snow squall. Or Dina & Tiziana in the kitchen, lovingly teaching Natalie to roll out pasta and make pizza dough. Or standing together in total darkness, watching a full lunar eclipse while sipping Lemoncello with a dozen old, and new, friends after an amazing meal and night of fellowship in I’cche c’é c’é. Or walking the trails with our dearest friends, Rachel and Robert – Brits that became our best friends for life during our first weekend together at the hamlet. The fact is that every visit, every day and evening spent in this special place, presents one with the opportunity to be amazed and empowered.

On the more practical side, although it is a sanctuary in the truest sense of the word, we have found that Borgo’s central location is one of its greatest assets. It is only fifteen kilometers from Cortona; a couple hours away from Chianti, Montalcino and the all best wines and vineyards in Italy; less than two hours to Siena, a two-hour train ride to Rome, or a quick drive to unique and special places like Castiglion del Lago, or the jewel-box walled city of Montone, or Umbrian gems like Montefalco and Bevagna. The vast majority of Italy is open to us for exploration, although we have to admit that once settled into Borgo, one’s spirit does not want to leave. It is this unique combination of total seclusion, located right in the center of everything, which makes the hamlet so alluring.

Borgo di Vagli is, to our family, comprised of three very distinct elements. First, there is the hamlet itself. The scope of the restoration is stunning and completely true to its roots and origins. Fulvio’s vision, passion for detail and imagination are on full display, and his philosophy of seamlessly blending architecture and environment to create balance and harmony is a joy to experience. Borgo is not a “resort.” There is no health club, spa, golf course, or over-priced gift shop. What the hamlet does have is original stone floors, open beam ceilings, slate roofs, solitude, a night sky that at times appears to be on fire, filled with stars, wild rosemary and lavender, miles of hiking paths, a beautiful pool, daytime views of the surrounding hills and countryside that would put a postcard to shame, and enough nooks and secluded corners that you can actually sit and read a book, relax, linger over a quiet lunch or contemplate the universe in utter privacy and seclusion.

Second is the amazing, kind and loving staff. Our Borgo family has helped raise our daughter, teaching and sharing their lives with her. Thanks to technology, we stay in constant communication, and they share in everything from her piano recitals to birthday parties to her latest third grade adventures. Lee (and his beautiful and loving family), Stefania, Daria, Simone – everyone is like a surrogate parent to our precious little girl, and she has been enriched beyond measure by their engagement in her life. They are the bedrock of the close community that exists among owners and visitors. In addition to our visits several times a year, we have used the benefits of our fractional ownership to send dozens of dear friends and family to experience the magic themselves, and every single person confirms that they have never been treated with more kindness, respect and consideration, wherever they have traveled, than they receive at Borgo.

Third are the other owners and guests with whom we are privileged to share the unique experience that is Borgo di Vagli. You never know who you will be sharing dinner with in the trattoria on any given night, but you can be certain that they will be interesting, adventurous and enlightening. We have made many life-long friends; have shared laughter, tears and secrets that wouldn’t be shared in any other environment. The closeness is genuine, real, and incredibly rewarding.

One final thought: Borgo is not for everyone. It is not a place to see or be seen, or a destination where every moment is scripted or planned. But for people whose dreams it fulfills, like ours, it is a joy and treasure beyond measure.

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Rich and Ginny Linting, Laguna Beach, CA USA

We recently returned from a three week “memory of a lifetime” trip to Borgo di Vagli with daughter Julie, son-in-law Jeff and their identical four year old twins. Everyone had a wonderful time made possible by Borgo di Vagli’s customer first staff whom we have come to personally know over the years.

It all started in 2006 when we received a promotional brochure in the mail. Like most people, we usually immediately toss those in the trash. However, Rich was traveling and Ginny took a look since we loved Italy and had traveled extensively there. It perked Ginny’s interest and she did a little research. When Rich returned from his trip, Ginny described the property and her interest. Rich was quite lukewarm since they had decided several years before to downsize and have a simpler life not having to care for multiple properties. Ginny convinced Rich to further evaluate Borgo di Vagli. We contacted Borgo di Vagli and received further information including the Architectural Digest article and a video of the property. Although we had been in Tuscany multiple times, we had never been to Cortona. As we continued to discuss this over the next few weeks, we came to the following conclusions: 1) we loved Italy, especially Tuscany; 2) this would be a great place for us to regularly visit; 3) fractional ownership in the two bedroom residences was a relatively inexpensive lifestyle investment; 4) the hamlet and residences were fully furnished and maintained by Borgo di Vagli; the Architectural Digest article, video and current owner testimonials were convincing. That was it, we bought it without actually going there!! Never did that before??

That was the start of our long “love affair” with Borgo di Vagli. On our first visit, we arrived from Rome in the dark so the last few kilometers were a bit challenging. The morning sunrise brought us a beautiful day. The accommodations and walking tour of the grounds immediately convinced us that we had made the right decision. As the next two weeks unfolded we fell in love with Cortona and realized what a wonderful location this was to explore the many historical, cultural and agrarian treasures of Italy. Exploring daily and then returning to our ever so peaceful and relaxing Borgo di Vagli in a beautiful natural setting was perfect.

As the years have rolled by, we have personally been to Borgo di Vagli at least once or twice a year. In addition we have been able to share it with family and friends who rave about it. Just last fall, Ginny took her three sisters there for a fantastic reunion. The staff makes every visit so enjoyable: from Dina’s kitchen, to language translation, to recommendations, to directions, to just great company.

It is truly a family affair for us. Rich and Ginny look forward to seeing you there!!

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Alba Farfagilia, San Clemente – California

We took “the scenic route” through northern Tuscany from the Pisa airport. We passed flowing meadows of sunflowers and green vineyards. The Tuscan hills were crowned with picturesque towns and cities. We stopped in Volterra for a light lunch and took pictures at the grandiose Roman theatre. We drove along the winding roads toward the southeastern part of Tuscany. As we came over the mountain toward Mercatale, we saw the silhouette of the Rocca di Pierle against the evening sky. Every time we come to Vagli the sight of that old castle takes my breath away. But this evening it was even more spectacular because there was a big red-faced moon hovering over it.

We turned left at the sign “Borgo di Vagli, Trattoria Icchè C’è, C’è – 2 kilometri.” We stopped at “reception.” Gianfranco was there to welcome us as he had done last year and the year before. He gave us the key to No 16, a two-story one bedroom stone cottage. We could smell the lavender and the rosemary that lined the path along the house – carefully tended to by Quarto, the gardener, I thought. We could hear voices from the kitchen, the clatter of plates and silverware and the aroma of ribollita, the Tuscan vegetable soup, which cook Dina was preparing for Sunday supper.

Yes, I had been to Vagli before, but I had never seen it as I did this night with the big red moon in the summer sky. We took showers, changed clothes, and got ready to join the other guests for supper, I looked out of the window to see if the red moon was still there, and yes, it was – “Sister Moon,” as St. Francis of Assisi called it, a bit smaller, but still shining brightly above and close to the castle. And through the ages, how many people might have seen a red moon over Rocca di Pierle? They could have been farmers, peasants, children, lords and ladies, clergy from the nearby11th century church of San Biagio. How many people had looked up and sighed in wonder? In 1567, the castle was demolished by Ferdinand di Medici on the pretext that bandits and assassins were hiding there. So, all that has remained for more than four hundred years is the enclosing wall, 15-26 ft. high, 2-3 meters thick. But in the moonlight, Rocca di Pierle looks whole and majestic, a powerful example of a feudal castle in Tuscany.

We hear a lot about being “Under the Tuscan Sun,” but this night, it was the Tuscan moon lighting our way. We were at Borgo di Vagli under the big Tuscan moon.

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Brad & Trish Hawarny, Arizona USA

“We originally ‘found’ Borgo di Vagli on the Internet. It’s intrigue and pricing kept bringing us back to this home page. It looked so unique and interesting, but though we loved international travel, we had never been to Italy. Knowing what a popular tourist destination Tuscany is, we calculated we could always trade it or even sell it, if it wasn’t right for us and we bought “sight unseen”!!!! But now we have visited and experienced Vagli. We have seen the attention for detail and quality put into the restoration and felt the serenity of Vagli. With our ever-increasing hectic lives, it is good to know that Vagli is waiting for us. We consider ourselves lucky to have discovered this very special place. What a find!”

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Peggy Olsen and Steve Piuma San Francisco USA

I am missing the Borgo now that we are back in San Francisco!! Had a great time there, as always. Steve and I were talking about our time there this year and how much we enjoy it more everytime we are there! The staff is so pleasant and cordial that we now feel that we are “at home” when we are there. I do miss seeing the Borgo fox however….

Best to you all, and remember we would host a gathering of potential owners in SF for you gladly!

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David and Lynn Waugh San Diego, California USA

If it is not too late to add our testimonial, we would like to say the following of our investment…….

One word describes the Italy we have come to love, “Baci.” Immediately discovering the obvious external beauty in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, it was the labor of love transcended through generations, the people, that drew us in. Italians tend to things with passion. A poetry of spirits, passion transcended provides extraordinary beauty for “all” things loved-art, landscapes, architecture, family, etc.. Baci, cheek kisses or Baci chocolate? We couldn’t decide so took them both and invested in Borgo di Vagli which is simply divine!

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Trish & Brad Hawarny Tucson, Arizona USA

We have been mesmerized with Borgo di Vagli for a few years now. In the beginning it was the new exquisite experience of Tuscany and this luscious “home” we enjoyed for at least a week. Upon return visits it is seeing the subtle yet improvements and care the property continues to receive, the comfort of knowing what to expect and returning to favourite places that are so familiar, while always branching out and making new and exciting discoveries during each trip. This was one of the best decisions we have made in our 27+ years of marriage.

Our very best to you!

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Patricia K. Rotchford, J.D – Northbrook, Illinois

Borgo Di Vagli “Is Under The Tuscan Sun” – Plus! My experience at Borgo di Vagli cannot be described in a few words. As an American and as a person who has travelled the world, I have found my home away from home. This is truly a place to return again and again with family or cherished friends. It will take a lifetime to experience and see the splendours of the area and to fully appreciate our historical origins. Borgo di Vagli the only private resort that is a city within itself and yet near Cortona and all of the Tuscan splendours, yet a easy drive to Rome or Florence. The opportunity to experience a 14th century village which has been renovated to a 4 star resort of modern magnificence, while keeping the original character, is not to be missed by anyone who enjoys culture, history, Epicurean delights and beauty. I was struck by the beauty of the view from Borgo di Vagli. The interior décor and modern amenities inside the original restored structure pleased my every senses. I let my imagination run away thinking of centuries ago of the people who may have lived here. In my many world travels, I could easily pick a favorite room at my destination. All of the rooms in each residence at Borgo di Vagli became my favorite. The Tuscan décor is easy to live with and so comfortable. At first I fell in love with the authentic fireplace in the living room, then I could not help but gaze at the kitchen. I have seen no other like it. The sink, cabinets, countertop, all the way to the copper cook ware displayed were 14th century replicas. The dishwasher and refrigerator were hidden behind wood panel doors, reminiscent of 14th century cabinets. The dishes are truly beautiful. The furnishings and décor are way above the standard fare found at most resorts. I viewed every residence at Borgo di Vagli and found the same beauty in each. The bedrooms and bathrooms are glorious. Every room became my favorite. The staff are exceptional.

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Richard & Donna Resnick, Temecula – California

The opportunity to own a piece of enchanting Tuscany was a dream come true for me and my wife. Our arrival at Borgo di Vagli this past summer confirmed instantly that we had made the right decision! We were warmly greeted by the staff, who showed us to our residence, and we knew instantly that we were in our “second home”.
Our residence overlooks stunning natural beauty and was beyond comfortable, and beautifully decorated. We just instantly loved our romantic little hideaway.
With helpful suggestions from the management and staff, we went on a number of driving adventures and discovered that Borgo di Vagli truly is located in the heart of the most beautiful part of Tuscany. Each little hill town was more magnificent, each rolling valley more tranquil.
We can’t wait to return to our “new” home, and once more be with the warm and inviting staff that treated us like family!

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Mr & Mrs Keyes 11 Mystic CT USA

“We admired the authenticity, attention to detail and professionalism employed by all concerned in the restoration and development of this beautiful project”.

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Patrick & Susan LaSalle NY USA

“The heart and soul, the true essence of Vagli, lies in the character of Mr. Di Rosa, the friendly management and staff. Their spirit and vision are the qualities that make Vagli come alive and are endearing to me.”

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Thomas & Shari Marquis Boston, USA

We have family homes in Duxbury (Boston) Massachusetts & Naples, Florida and we both have shared a dream of one day owning a pied-a-terre in Tuscany, Italy. That dream has now become a reality having recently purchased at Borgo di Vagli; a beautiful restored 14th century Tuscan stone hamlet.

The quiet and spectacular location, restoration, finish and genuine antique furniture coupled with the friendliness and helpfulness shown by all the management and staff during our inspection during our trip made the decision to buy effortless.

Given our profession as realtors, the simplicity of purchasing at the hamlet was a revelation to us. The process took one hour. Low key but professional. As they use a UK-based trust company, there were no legal fees or closing costs. We thoroughly enjoyed the traditional Tuscan Fairs and the ambiance in the hamlet’s trattoria, it was a great opportunity to meet other Club Owners and guests and listen to their stories while learning tips from their daily excursions. The evening we will cherish for years to come.

Because of the close proximity to so many beautiful places of interest we took day trips every day to places like Cortona, Lake Trassimano, Montepulciano, & Siena. Plus easy train access to Florence. But now that we are owners we can take comfort in the knowledge we will have time to explore and appreciate them fully. We are already longing to return to our new Tuscan Home next year.

As past President of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and the Massachusetts Association of Realtors I can strongly recommend this as a great value.

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Dr. Daniel & Beth Steinke, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, USA

“We can hardly wait to go back again to our little piece of heaven at Vagli.”

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Michael, Maryellen, Abbey Boylan Nantucket USA

“Our home away from home” Borgo di Vagli….
We truly relish our time there to adjust our view of what’s important to our family. Our daughter Abbey, has fallen in love with Vagli and misses her friends Stephania and Bianca when we’re not there!
Abbey loves the property and enchanting views.
Vagli has become our launching pad for all adventures in and around the region and beyond.
We’ll be back in the spring!

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Joe Teno and Gail Clinton, Sonoma CA USA

As if just being in Italy wasn’t enough to help you put your daily worries aside and reflect on a simpler life, the final 2 kilometers of the Vagli’s white road seem to completely untether you from the outside world. At the same time the undulating hand carved road leads you towards something all together different. It is a place steeped in history, surrounded by oaks and chestnuts, teeming with the sights, sounds and smells of the earth, a soulful place, perhaps a place you have not had an opportunity to visit in a while.

Once you arrive in your apartment, unpack and tide yourself over with local bread and olive oil. Walk outside and sit under the pergola. Look into the valley. Give yourself a few moments. Breath. Breath again, deeply this time. Then you’ll begin to hear it, the symphony of sounds.Though they may begin faintly, if you invite them, they will begin to wash over you …. the buzzing bees, the wind in the leaves, the birds, the sounds of people speaking Italian…… all served on silent backdrop. You may begin to notice the smells; the vegetation, the damp comforting aroma of the earth, the brief wisps of lavender, rosemary or fennel. Can you smell the vines?

If you sit long enough the sun begins to fall below the hills and a new sound is heard, very different, startling, an animal sound. They huff, puff, and snort and then you see them, the family of boar dashing through the olive trees and up the hillside over well worn paths. Ugly as sin but what a delight to watch them go purposefully by.

And maybe you’ll begin to wonder, has this changed in 100 years? 200 years? 300 years? If it has, I wonder how? Perhaps there would be more horses, perhaps more livestock and farming on the terraces. Look very closely and you’ll see the terraces are everywhere. Who built them? How long did it take them? Certainly the bird songs and the wild boar and the breezes and smells and colors have not changed. This must be an experience I’m sharing with people who lived on this spot hundreds of years ago.

It is late summer but we’ve found that each season offers its own unique experience. In the Spring, the buds and flowers are overwhelming, their intense colors, the feeling of life about to burst forth with renewed energy and endless possibility.

In the winter, the contrast between the warm and cozy apartments, the crisp air and crystal clear, blue sky is striking. When a storm comes by covering the landscape with rain or a light dusting of snow, you sit before a warm, crackling fire, with a faint smell of woodsmoke, and feel a startling sense of intimacy with this place, a connection with the building and people who lived here before. They must have been as grateful as we are to feel the warmth and safety provided by the thick and sturdy masonry and yet be so connected to the beautiful land just outside the doors.

Walking the trails around the Borgo di Vagli intensifies the experience. Yesterday we started our walk in Cortona. As we started in the morning, mists still hung in the valleys. Up along the medieval path we walked, through more oaks and chestnuts. One wonders again, who were these people who built these paths? How long did it take them? How did they move the rock? These thoughts linger all the way to the top of Mt. Spino where one is rewarded with an astounding 360 degree Tuscan panorama. No need to tarry too long though, this is just the beginning of the visual treats that lie all along the 18 Km trail back to the Borgo. Around a bend the entirety of Lake Trasimeno explodes into view. White roads and single footpaths, intimate forest trails, you will experience them all along this journey.

And after hours of walking you may take your eyes off the brilliant views and become aware of something a bit more subtle, you may notice how the sun seems to have moved over your head. Just a few hours ago, in the morning, the sun was low and it was cool. Now a full measure of sun is warming you and casting an array of unique shadows. After another hour or so the sun seems to move again. And now it is afternoon and you get a new impression. There is even more warmth, mixed with a quiet, a stillness. And you may ask yourself why don’t we do this more often? Spend a whole day, sunrise to sunset, outside, walking, absorbing light and warmth as we walk across the land.

Moving down Mt. Ginezzo now, headed home, down to the hunter’s camp and the Monastery, you can smell someone burning brush, you can’t see the fire or smoke, but it remains a comforting reminder that you are not alone here.

As you pick your way down the final hundred meters of the steep and narrow monk’s trail, prepare yourself for the smell of the wood fired oven and roasted meat being prepared in the Trattoria. If you are like us you’ll look at your watch and calculate the minutes until you can duck your head and descend into the Trattoria’s warm, rustic surroundings about to celebrate a perfect day’s end with a delicious, hand crafted Tuscan meal.

And the ultimate pleasure…you can do it all again tomorrow.

Our arrival here often feels like springtime with all the possibilities that season presents. And while our departures often feel like fall, with a touch of wistful sadness, we can only be grateful for what we just experienced.

Yes, we love

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Dayna Corlito NY USA

I can proudly tell you that my decision to become a fractional owner at Borgo was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I look back on the years between the first time I visited and this year and can tell you with certainty that I actually enjoy my visits to Borgo di Vagli more and more each year, if that is even possible. I have had numerous family and friends accompany me on my trips and most have been repeat visitors after experiencing the glory of Borgo di Vagli just as I had the first time I stepped foot on the Hamlet. I had traveled to Italy prior to first arriving at Borgo and had always thought about potentially buying an apartment somewhere either in one of the larger cities or in the Tuscan countryside so that I would always have a place to look forward to visiting, but it was just too cost prohibitive at the times I looked into it, especially with the appreciation of the Euro being a US citizen.

That is why I initially started out pursuing a shared ownership option. But to my delight, when Borgo di Vagli converted to fractional ownership, it gave me the opportunity to do just what I had hoped to do and accommodate my travel schedule, whereby I only get a few week’s vacation on an annual basis from my job. Since then I have had the pure delight of entertaining friends and/or family on every visit and I am always excited when it’s someone new and they get to experience Borgo di Vagli for the first time, because I feel like I get to experience that ‘newness’ of being there all over again. Stefania and her team have become part of my extended family. I truly look forward to seeing them when I visit and keeping in touch with them throughout the year. I have always enjoyed the fabulous views and taking day trips into Tuscany and Umbria, but now it’s even more enjoyable because I am so much more familiar with the area and barely even need a map anymore, except for occasional reference. I have my favorite restaurants & my favorite towns to visit but I always save something new for my next visit to add to the excitement of discovering something I haven’t during past visits. And that is the delight of being at Borgo di Vagli, there is always something new to experience on the property since management constantly strives to continue to make improvements and offer owners added services and options to look forward to and there is always a new place to explore on your day travels. I have visited Borgo di Vagli at different times of year and that – in and of itself – is a new adventure. My closest group of friends have accompanied me on my visits the majority of the time and it’s become an annual pilgrimage for us. I relish in the thought that no matter what is going on in my life during a given year, I have the peace of mind knowing that at some point during the year all roads will lead to Borgo di Vagli and that is enough to keep me content. I look forward to spending many more years at Borgo di Vagli and just writing this now makes me homesick and wishing I was there!!!”

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