We have always proudly said, “Borgo di Vagli is not for everyone.”
What do we mean by that? Our charming hamlet has many unique characteristics, values and merits however, what one person may find unique, wonderfully attractive and desirable another person may not.
In the spirit and humour of not trying to be all things to all people and to make you fully aware of the nuances of Borgo di Vagli, we invite you, with an eye on the accompanying photos, to read the following and make your own judgement.
Our owners’ and friends’ comments are in italics.
Our Doors and Windows
Being authentically restored 14th century medieval homes, the door and window mantels are true to their origins… some of which are small and low. Which also means having to occasionally “mind your head” as we say here. Some may find this a little too authentic. However, we have welcomed many owners who love the authentic look and feel… even in spite of some “Vagli bumps”!
The reason for modest windows and doors was in an effort by the farmers to create an ambient temperature in their homes throughout the year.
In the colder months the farmers were very cautious not to lose, through the windows and doors, the small amount of heat they were able to generate with the only fireplace or stove of the house and in long summer months, they had the opposite challenge: to keep the homes cool.
This simple guiding principle – small apertures – creates in each room, as a consequence, a distinctive ambience and atmosphere, which is enhanced by the incredibly subtle interaction between the light throughout the day and the earthy colours of the walls.
"The luscious yellow, salmon and blue colors paints of the interior walls are mixed with earth then applied directly onto the plaster, creating a chalky, fresco color depth."
Excerpt from Frances Mayes’ book “Bringing Tuscany Home”
And each window and door captures and frames the most spectacular landscape as in a live painting.
“We enjoyed a delightful meal in the Hamlet’s trattoria and the next morning opened the window of our residence to the most breathtaking views. We knew right then we wanted Borgo di Vagli as our family home in Tuscany.” For owner testimonial please click here.
Henrik Ferdinand and Rikke Bedsen from Værløse, Denmark.
“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?” For owner testimonial please click here
Alba Farfaglia, California USA
“Arriving in Vagli is similar to returning to the womb, nothing more protected, cosy, relaxing, a flash back to your origin. The walls of “Our Home in Tuscany” tell us stories, the windows free our imagination, each niche of the house whisper’s the most unbelievable fairytales. The stones, the iron, the ceilings, the roofs, everything here is a witness of bygone era; it is a rescue of a medieval poem, slightly emphasized by touches of modern art in design. Being in Vagli is an opportunity of breathing fully , recuperating energies, making positive future plans. Living with no hurry, in other words… to dream consciously. Leaving Vagli with cleansed (and ironed!) soul, with the expectation to return, with God’s grace, next year!" For owner testimonial please click here.
Antonio and Anamaria Carneiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As with all Tuscan hilltop hamlets, the buildings are nestled into the landscape, which requires numerous steps to reach some of the residences, our heated swimming pool and the upper terraces. Nonetheless, our owners are enamoured with this rural Tuscan environment and the incredible views the numerous terraced locations provide. Those who prefer a level landscape (perhaps less energetic amongst us or folk with mobility issues) may find the hillside too demanding!
A Home not a Resort
While we do offer a hotel service with several amenities such as reception, concierge, a wonderful trattoria, which serves mouth watering freshly prepared Tuscan meals, a large heated swimming pool with hypnotic views, private pergolas, micro market and several breathtaking hiking paths, our owners regularly comment fortunately the hamlet doesn’t have a disco, spa, clubhouse, driving range or many other “resort type” features. This is not “Vagli World”.
Our owners enjoy the relaxed pace and peaceful atmosphere of the hamlet - a spa for the soul one might say - and the easy day trips to nearby cities, hilltop towns and attractions. If you prefer, however, to have a full array of resort amenities and are prepared for the ongoing financial upkeep, as we said in the beginning, Borgo di Vagli may not be for you.
"We go for hikes, both down to Mercatale and up through the hills. The paths and roads are wonderful, even when snow covered in winter. And relax afterwards with some good wine and local produce, or by the pool in warm weather." For owner testimonial please click here.
Else and Harald S. Kobbe, Bergen, Norway
Our Lovely Road
A road less travelled often leads to a hidden treasure.
The 2 kilometre (1.25 miles) unpaved serpentine road leads you through the forested hills along a 1000-year old track; it is quite narrow, with steep inclines and declines. Our owners fully understand and appreciate the concept of preserving the eco-friendly environment of their road, while others may find it too challenging. The road also acts as a natural “filter” which serves to maintain the hamlet’s privacy.
"As if just being in Italy wasn’t enough to help you put your daily worries aside and reflect on a simpler life, the 2 kilometers unpaved road seems 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." For owner testimonial please click here.
Joe Teno and Gail Clinton, Sonoma CA USA