"The Oldie is an incredible magazine - perhaps the best magazine in the world right now" Graydon Carter, founder of Air Mail and former Editor of Vanity Fair

Subscribe to the Oldie and get a free cartoon book


Iris Origo's epitaph. By Amelia Milne

Blog | By Amelia Milne | Oct 18, 2023

This week Oldie readers enjoy a tour of Tuscany and Umbria, staying at the exclusive La Foce.

La Foce is the stunning home of Dame Iris Origo. La Foce is home to 7,000 acres in the Provence of Siena. The house was in a state of disrepair when Iris bought it in the 1920s, and she transformed the house and its gardens.

Today the Oldie readers toured her gardens and saw her epitaph, but what does the Italian wording mean?

Chi più conosce, più ama. Più amando, più gusto

Her epitaph translates as ‘the more you know someone, the more you love them; and the more one loves, the more one enjoys'.

Dame Iris was quite a lady. She was an English-born biographer and writer and lived in Italy, devoting her life to La Foce which is near Montepulciano, which she bought with her husband. Her husband was Antonio Origo, an illegitimate son of Marchese Clemente Origo.

In the Second World War, she helped shelter refugee children and helped escaped prisoners in defiance of Italy's facist regime.

Iris's epitaph is a testament to her life and the love that she gave in abundance to good works.

The pool house at La Foce
Beautiful interiors in La Foce