La Foce

La Foce is an estate located on the eastern edge of the Val D’Orcia. The original villa dates from the 15th century when it served as a refuge for pilgrims on the Via Francengena, but by the 20th century the villa and estate had become run down and neglected until it was purchased by Iris and Antonio Origo in 1924. They set about restoring the villa and upgrading the surrounding farms by constructing new farm buildings and introducing new farming practices. However the main attraction of the estate are the gardens of La Foce, which were designed by the English architect and garden designer Cecil Pinsant. He combined design ideas from the formal lay-out of traditional Italian gardens with the looser design of an English flower garden.

La Foce Villa

As noted above, the original villa dates from the 15th Century when it was used as a refuge for pilgrims. This is the oldest part of the original buildings.

The Original La Foce Villa

The villa was extended by the Iris and Antonio Origo and integrated into the new gardens.

La Foce House And Gardens

The Gardens

The gardens were designed by Cecil Pinsant in several stages between 1927 and 1939. Some areas were laid out in the style of a formal Italian garden as shown in the images below.

Box Hedging at La Foce


La Foce Italian Gardens

La Foce Water Feature

Iris Origo was from an English family and therefore Pinsent also added areas that of planting that resembled an English flower garden. Of particular note is the use of wisteria to form an archway and to cover one large wall of the garden.

Wisteria Archway

Wisteria Wall And Seating Area

La Foce Cypress Road

One of the most famous cypress lined roads in Tuscany is a farm track in view from the gardens at La Foce. The cypress trees lining the track were planted by Iris Origo, to enhance the view from the gardens, however there are alternative viewpoints that do not require a visit to the gardens. The track branches off the SP40, and where it branches off there is space to park and the road can be photographed from the adjacent field. However a better view  can be obtained by continuing on to the gardens at La Foce and taking the small track to the right of the entrance. A short way down the track and the view to the winding road appears on the right. For the best view, walk a little further down this track (marked as private, so no cars), then take a path across the field on the right.

La Foce Cypress Road

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