LA FOCE: The Tuscany Less Traveled


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.

War in Val D’Orcia

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.

IMG_0941The 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


IMG_4476 - Version 2



3 thoughts on “LA FOCE: The Tuscany Less Traveled

  1. Katia Lysy

    How lovely Carol! Thank you for your enthusiasm and appreciation and come back soon!

  2. Mihaela

    Love this place. Hope to return soon to visit the garden and after stop at Dopolavore for a perfect ristretto !

  3. Jan

    I too, was quite taken after reading War in Val d’Orcia, and had La Foce on my list of essential places to visit on my last trip to Italy in May. There were quite a few visitors there, and the group tours only last about 40 minutes, but it was still quite a thrill to see the gardens. Didn’t see any of the family about. Would loved to have spent more time just wandering around the garden. At the gift shop I bought another copy of War, and a few other of Iris’ books. I was with a private trekking guide and after the La Foce tour, she walked with me to the family graveyard where we visited Iris & Antonio’s graves. Also recommend lunch at Dopolavoro.

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