The perfect spot at which to end your day of visiting Val d’Orcia and Iris Origo’s Villa La Foce is at the restaurant owned by the descendants of Origo.
If you look hard at the picture below you will see the words: Dopolavora Rurale – La Foce. That’s the name of this great dining spot and its menu and dining garden will delight you.
I enjoyed the steak and rustic potatoes.
The al fresco dining area is the stuff dreams are made of.
The Dopolavoro La Foce was built in 1939 as a meeting place for the workers on the La Foce estate. Country dances and plays featuring the farmers’ children were held on the little stage, movies and news of the war were screened and people came from miles around to share a glass of wine and play a game of bocce (bowls) in the shade of the lime trees.
Along with the kindergarten, the school and the clinic, the Dopolavoro is part of a series of buildings built by the Origos in the 1920s and 1930s, when they carried out a vast plan of land reclamation and social innovation.
When Antonio and Iris Origo bought the vast estate of La Foce in 1924 the Val d’Orcia, for all its spectacular scenery, was a poor and uninhabited region, a land of low clay hillocks and stony, unfarmed soil. Not only did the Origos dream of reclaiming the barren fields and turning them into fertile countryside, they also aimed to improve the living conditions of workers on the estate.
Today the Dopolavoro once more belongs to the Origo family and reopens as a restaurant in which traditional Tuscan dishes are flavoured with the delicious La Foce extra-virgin olive oil and created with the best seasonal local produce. The restaurant boasts its own vegetable garden across the road, guaranteeing a genuine farm-to plate process. A path connects the vegetable garden to the famous La Foce gardens, which can be visited on request.