Succession at La Foce Villa Origo in Italy
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a love/hate relationship with the HBO show Succession. I don’t like the nouveau riche ridiculousness but I do love it when they shoot on location at a historic house. Episode Eight of Season Three which just aired on Sunday, was shot this past summer in Italy and might be set at some of the best houses of any television show ever.
The producers tapped travel specialist Emily FitzRoy of Bellini Travel to serve as a consultant and assist them in finding a location for for the wedding of Caroline Collingwood, Logan Roy’s ex-wife and the mother of three of his four children, and other scenes. As she told Condé Nast Traveler, “Lady Caroline is an English aristocrat. She’d accept shabby chic. She’d accept a bad bathroom in a beautiful estate. But the Roy kids are American. They wouldn’t. They would want everything to be more sleek, more buttoned-up. I negotiated our access into the Tuscan estate Villa La Foce. My clients have been renting it privately for years, and it is one of the most magical places in all of Italy. The gardens and some of the surrounding landscape were designed by an Englishman, Cecil Pinsent. For a separate scene, another beautiful property, Villa Cetinale, near Siena, was on Mark’s radar before I was brought on. (I think we’ll see Villa Cetinale in episode nine) Ironically, one of my last projects before COVID-19 hit was organizing a large-scale, high-end celebration there that went till dawn. I encouraged them to move forward with the location. I was flattered but felt immense pressure that the owners of two of the villas said they opened their doors only because I was involved. Location work was a new world to me, and I was blown away by how polite, respectful, and appreciative the crew and cast were everywhere we worked.”
Also, Kendall stayed in a different house, Villa Buonriposo, due to family tensions and Roman was forced to head north to the foothills of the Alps to visit tech mogul Lukas Matsson at his Lake Como villa, Villa La Cassinella, about a potential merger with Roy media empire Waystar Royco.
Shiv Roy brought her Paraval luggage to Italy.
The gardens are spectacular but I’m going to start with the interiors of the villa first.
“La Foce was originally built at the end of the XVth century as a wayside tavern, but soon became the centre of a vast estate owned by the great Sienese Hospital and Monastery of Santa Maria della Scala.
Owing to wars and pestilence, the estate – and indeed all the valley of the Orcia (Val d’Orcia) – ran into extreme poverty and was mainly abandoned, until in 1924 it was bought by Antonio and Iris Origo, who turned it into their comfortable home. From here they farmed and developed the land, bringing prosperity and social progress to the farmers. The Villa is connected to the Fattoria, from where the agricultural estate is still run.
The house is built on three levels, following the lie of the hill, and is surrounded by the now famous gardens created by Iris Origo and the English architect Cecil Pinsent – a ‘labour of love’ lasting many years. Parts of the garden are open to the public on certain days (strictly guided tours), though the garden by the house and the pool remain private. The interior is full of old-world charm, not showy, but with beautiful antique furniture, comfortable beds, and lots of lovely rooms which offer both privacy and opportunities for family gatherings. There is free wi-fi throughout the house.”
The entry hall.
Connor and his girlfriend were the first guests we see on screen to be shown to their room.
The beautiful central frescoed and balconied dining room can be used for very special evenings
Conner and his girlfriend have a double bedroom off the balconied dining hall.
I love the simple and elegant decor in each bedroom.
This is the room Gerri stays in for the wedding.
This is Gerri’s friend Laurie in their room.
The main kitchen is accessible only to La Foce staff. Guests can use the two kitchenettes (one on each floor) equipped with electric kettle, induction cooker, microwave oven and fridge. Tea, Nescafé and tisanes are provided.
An ample music room and living room, with fireplace and many comfortable sofas and armchairs, offers great opportunities for entertaining friends and family gatherings.
Shiv and her husband Tom in the living room which might be acting as their room.
The music room.
There is a delightful library with fireplace and sofas for cozy evenings.
“When Antonio and Iris Origo bought the estate of La Foce, they engaged the English architect Cecil Pinsent to restructure the main buildings and create a large garden.
The latter was conceived to enhance the Renaissance house and expand the spectacular view over the valley of the Orcia and the Amiata mountain. The harmony between buildings, garden and nature makes La Foce an ideal example of Tuscany’s architectural and cultural evolution in the XXth century.
The garden grew gradually, between 1925 and 1939. The house is surrounded by a formal Italian garden, which is divided into geometrical ‘rooms’ by box hedges with lemon trees in terracotta pots. Travertine stairs lead to the rose garden and a winding wisteria-covered pergola bordered by lavender hedge. Gentle informal terraces climb up the hill, where cherry trees, pines and cypresses grow among wild broom, thyme and rosemary, and a long cypress avenue leads to a 17th-century stone statue. Through the wood, a path joins the garden and the family cemetery, considered one of Pinsent’s best creations.”
I love the character of Lady Caroline Collingwood, second wife of Logan Roy, and mother of Kendall Roy, Roman Roy and Shiv Roy, played by Harriet Walter.
Kendall Roy, with an unfortunate haircut, and his mother in the garden.
It’s worth watching the episode eight to hear how all the children talk about the man who Lady Caroline is set to marry. The wedding will take place in the finale episode nine on Sunday, December 12, 2021.
Wedding welcome cocktails.
Roman Roy with his mother.
Kendall Roy and his assistant.
Everyone’s favorite character, Cousin Greg, with Shiv and Tom. There are many Nicholas Braun sightings around New York on Deux Moi each Sunday.