How to Spend a Perfect Tuscan Afternoon

Head to the gardens of La Foce, a 15th Century estate in Tuscany’s  Val d’Orcia, nestled among the ancient hill towns near Siena.  The hilly terrain falls into a rolling landscape demarcated by lines of towering cypress trees; ancient olive groves and a puzzle of terraced vineyards create a checkerboard of bounty. La Foce is a tour de force of gardening, brilliantly melding the agrarian terrain with masterful landscape design. But first, of course, there’s lunch……
We were lucky….lunch al fresco at Dopolavoro.   It’s part of the estate and run by the Origo family who restored La Foce in the 1920’s. 


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Afterward, the garden tour.  La Foce is a combination of classic Italian landscape design and the whimsical feel of English gardens.



Pinsent’s structured boxwood design draws the eye to the imposing Mt. Amita in the distance.


With a nod to La Foce’s 15th-century antecedent, which provided hospitality to those traveling along the Via Francigena,  a lemon grove graces the villa.

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Trained as an architect, Pinsent also designed  garden adornments. Elegant, rounded contours soften this concrete garden bench.


The garden at La Foce is open to the public on Wednesday afternoons; the restaurant Dopolavoro is open every day and booking is recommended during the summer and fall.

Aperol Spritz – the perfect ending to a delightful day!


Cin Cin !!

Fans of La Foce

P.S. Iris Origo was a prodigious author. Two of her books, in particular, enhanced our understanding of La Foce and provided insight into her formidable personality.

Images and Shadows – Iris Origo’s autobiography

War in Val d’Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-44 – Iris’ account of life at La Foce during World War II.


Photo credit: Lee Sable Freund

© 3 Score & More 2016


2 Replies to “How to Spend a Perfect Tuscan Afternoon”

  1. If I could pack my bags and leave now, I would. Lee makes everything sound like we’re missing something. And we are! She’s a world class traveler.


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