I’ve been writing and re-writing drafts for this post for a few weeks now. Wanting it to be lyrical, beautiful prose, worthy of the subject— you know, like I’m going for a Pulitzer. I’m giving up on that and sending it out to the world as the lovely place in Southern Tuscany I was inspired by a book to visit.
You before you go to La Foce, you should read the book.
I did, about eight years ago, and the story (written in diary form by Iris Origo, an American/British woman married to an Italian) took hold of me and wouldn’t let go. In the crossroads of Italy’s switch from Axis to Allies, the Origos found themselves in constant peril—harboring soldiers, displaced children, and protecting their workers and their own families with extraordinary courage and grit. They survived as did La Foce, to become a destination of breathtaking beauty, as I discovered when I finally made it there this past spring.
The daughter (who appears in the book) and granddaughter of Iris Origo will be there to greet you. There is so much more to say about La Foce, about War in Val D’Orcia, about visiting this part of Tuscany not much traveled, and the family who remain.
Benedetta, on the left, is the baby in the book, and Katia Lysy, on the right is her daughter. Let them show you the legacy left by Iris and Antonio Origo.
And if you want a personal introduction, I can do that at firstname.lastname@example.org.