Borgo Argenina story

It was November 1991, and I was living in Milan, working as a fashion designer, when I first spotted the five fairytale stone houses nestled on the rolling hillsides, dating back to 998 A.D.

Despite their disrepair and abandonment of over fifty years... for me, it was ‘love at first sight’!

I knew at that moment that the dream I had carried since I was a child was finally going to come true.

One day an American writer showed up...

In March 1992 I moved to Gaiole in Chianti with my 10-year-old daughter, Fiorenza, and began the overwhelming restoration of my precious rundown village.

There was no electricity, no heat, no running water, and due to the overgrowth of weeds, you could barely see what was left of the ancient buildings. During the following five years, we scraped, hammered, plastered, and painted—sometimes through the coldest of winters—to turn this neglected ruins into the most authentic and beautiful place to stay in Tuscany.

Working side-by-side with our skilled Tuscan craftsmen – Almo, and his sons- has been the most exciting experience to me. They have become my precious Tuscan family through the beautiful restoration of these ancient buildings.

One day, when we were still working on the last details, an American writer showed up to see our new B&B. He was Rick Steves.

Since than he recommends Borgo Argenina in his travel guide books.

A few month later, many other travel writers came to visit us and wrote about our charming and special place. My dream finally came true when we opened the B&B in 1998: Borgo Argenina was back to life.

Elena Nappa

“This picture was taken while I was scrubbing and refinishing an old door.
Over my shoulder were not only the remaining 46 doors, but an entire hamlet to restore!„ -Elena