Growing on the High Plains: Villa La Foce

Nov 8, 2018

The gardens of Villa La Foce in southern Tuscany, seen from above.

Today’s edition of Growing on the High Plains whisks us off to the Italian countryside for a visit near the medieval and Renaissance hill town of Montepulciano. Nestled in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany, one can find a wondrous garden at farm estate of Villa La Foce. The villa was built in the late 15th century as a hospice for traveling pilgrims and merchants.

Established by the writer Dame Iris Origo and her husband Antonio Origo, the villa was consistently used to shelter refugee children and assisted many escaped Allied prisoners of war and partisans during World War II, in defiance of Italy's fascist regime and Nazi occupation forces.


"I believe that every life , irrespective of its events and setting, holds something of unique value, which it should be possible to communicate, if only one can first see one's experiences honestly and then set them down without too much dressing-up."  —Iris Origo