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Villa La Foce

Listed under Gardens in Tuscany, Italy.

  • Photo of Villa La Foce
  • Photo of Villa La Foce
  • Photo of Villa La Foce
  • Photo of Villa La Foce
  • Photo of Villa La Foce
  • Photo of Villa La Foce
  • Photo of Villa La Foce
Photo of Villa La Foce
Photo by Donna Dawson
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Villa La Foce - The garden at La Foce was designed by Iris Origo and the famous English landscape gardener Cecil Pinsent between 1925 and 1939. It is considered today an ideal combination between the landscape and 20th-century architecture, blending Italian and English traditions and taste. The property of La Foce extends over the hills overlooking the Val d'Orcia, an enchanting and miraculously unspoilt valley in southern Tuscany, listed as UNESCO world heritage in 2004. In 1924 the Irish-American Iris Origo - the famous author - and her Italian husband, Marchese Antonio Origo, acquired the La Foce estate- a combination of olive groves, widespread cultivated fields and woodland. In those days, their management of La Foce brought prosperity and cultural and social changes to the poverty-ridden land it was then. Today their daughters, Benedetta and Donata, run the La Foce estate and their personality pervades in the hospitable atmosphere.

You cannot describe the sheer beauty of this place in words, you must see it for yourself as the estate borrows the landscape around it to complete its glorious design. No camera can capture the essence of being here or in Tuscany for that matter. Nor can it capture the depth of colour or of space, nor the fragrance in the air. You can look out and see that solitary winding road lined with cypress and gasp for it is breathtaking beauty.

Walking through the rose garden is sheer bliss with the fragrance of many roses, lavendar and yes even the peonies. There are two books you must read before you see the garden to get the whole history.

Iris Origo, autobiography ‘Images and Shadows, Part of a Life’ and her diary ‘War in Val d’Orcia, 1943-44’

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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