Vacationers who wish to slip into history and taste the true essence of medieval Tuscany will cherish Borgo di Vagli, a fully restored 14th century hamlet near Cortona, Italy.

Borgo di Vagli
Borgo di Vagli
This unique experience takes visitors back to the way life used to be. Fractional ownership in this community means peace and quiet for families, a true getaway from today's hectic pace of life. The hamlet is divided into 10 one and two-bedroom residence that 100 owners can buy lifetime access to. The club currently has between 60 and 65 owners since offering fractions in the latter half of 2006.

The property consists of 10 residences on 32 acres of land filled with and surrounded by fruit and oak tree forests, olive groves, rolling hills and green countryside. The hamlet overlooks the Niccone Valley and its 10th century Pierle Castle. The units themselves are very diverse. A one bedroom unit can range from 400 to 700 square feet and sleep up to four. Whereas a two-bedroom unit runs from 650 to 1,100 square feet and can accommodate six. Some residences are free-standing single units scattered around the property while others belong to one of the two main buildings on the property.

The Restoration Project

Revitalizing Tuscan ruins is Fulvio Di Rosa's specialty. His latest project, Borgo di Vagli took him 10 years to restore. However, he makes it clear that he is not an architect. He explains that true restoration is an exact copy of the original. "I haven't added anything," he says. "What you see is exactly what was there. We didn't even change the height of the rooms. The original inhabitants, 600 years ago, were not tall. Their building materials, way of constructing and habits were a standard at that time. It would be a disaster to try to change that-this shows their culture in a pure form."

Just about everything a visitor will discover at Borgo di Vagli is authentic. Guests will find rustic accommodations including small windows, low ceilings and doorways and rural Tuscan furnishings, linens and tableware. However there are a few modern conveniences like indoor plumbing, modern kitchens, high-speed internet and flat screen televisions. There is even a heated outdoor swimming pool for guests to enjoy. Although there are a few options nearby for dining, the hamlet does have a candle-lit restaurant in the medieval guard tower with traditional Tuscan dishes cooked over an open wood fire.

Fulvio Di Rosa
Fulvio Di Rosa
"We don't tick the boxes that are normally found at a five-star resort," muses Di Rosa. "It is luxurious because it gives you the opportunity to live in the past in a land that has been totally untouched. Nature is exactly the same as it was centuries ago, quiet with the sensation of seasons and the rains. It is a completely different atmosphere. It is a place of experience, not of being pampered. There is no spa, no bar; it's a place where you come with your family and loved ones in a completely unspoiled and authentic environment."

Ownership Opportunity

Owner to property ratio is set at 10 to 1. Ownerships offer unlimited lifetime usage based on space available reservations and begin at €60,000 Euros for a one-bedroom and €92,000 Euros for a two-bedroom residence. Annual fees include taxes and insurance, operating costs, funds for repairs and maintenance, utilities and personnel. Annual fees do not include housekeeping. Fees for a one bedroom are €2,200 Euros per year, €2,800 Euros for the two-bedroom residences. Departure fees are an additional €100 Euros per stay and cover two cleanings a week. Guests can choose to have daily maid service for an additional cost.

Ownership may be willed, transferred or placed in a trust. All sales and transactions for the property are under the control of an independent international trustee. "This is interesting because it is insurance that it is theirs forever. The property is not challengeable," explains Di Rosa. "The trustee is holding the shares for the benefit of the owners; it cannot be sold or given to others to use the property without consent."

Reservation Policy

Owners are able to reserve visits in advance as well as on short-term notice (depending on space available). Peak-period reservations are allocated by a rotating priority system to ensure that owners will have equal access to the property during these high-demand times. Owners also have exchange privileges through The Registry Collection and Destination Exchange International.

Treasures of Tuscany

Fulvio Di Rosa is especially proud of his Tuscan heritage and wants his guests to experience everything the area has to offer. "We've kept and maintained the woods and olive groves surrounding the hamlet. It is a very huge protected area," he says. "Nothing can be built or changed, not even a road can be opened. What it is now is what it was hundreds of years ago. It is like going back to the roots of mankind. For most people seeing foxes and wild boar roaming around is new and exciting." In spite of being in the middle of nowhere, the location is actually quite handy for day tours all over Tuscany and Umbria. "For a maximum drive of 90 minutes you can get to pretty much everything that has importance in Tuscany," claims Di Rosa.

The club has an on-sight concierge for guest usage. Di Rosa explains that the concierge is the guide to the unexplored, unmentioned sections of Tuscany. "People who come for the first time to Tuscany usually use guide books and recommendations of friends who have seen the major sights," says Di Rosa. "Once they have exhausted their tour books they need the insider (or concierge) to help them find the places that are unknown to guide books, but complete gems."

Other Clubs in the Area

Destination club Ultimate Escapes owns one of the 2 bedroom residences in Borgo di Vagli, but this is the exception, there are no other whole ownerships in the hamlet. Many other destination clubs have residences in Tuscany and Florence including Quintess, Distinctive Holiday Homes, High Country Club and Solstice. There are also several private residence clubs and luxury fractionals in this part of Italy