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Tuesday, 24th October 2023

Hidden away at 88 Cross Hill Road, One Tree Hill, you’ll find a café and wedding venue named Da Vince, which has become Playford’s own little piece of the Roman Empire.

Since its opening in 2010, the main aim of Da Vince has been to showcase the concreting work of Amy’s dad (Vincenzo) who has created hundreds of incredible sculptures throughout the sprawling gardens.

“Dad was a concreter by trade, but he just loves to create things. The centre piece of Da Vince is the huge ‘colosseum of life’ at the end of the garden. It features a waterfall created through internal fountains and a huge fishpond in the base. It took dad seven years to build, and we are all so proud of him,” said Amy.

Amy’s mum (Rose), who went into semi-retirement earlier this year has also been instrumental in the cafe’s success.

“Mum is an incredible cook. She created a huge menu and thanks to her we have had many people who have been coming back here for years – including from the very first week that we opened,” said Amy.

Since her mother took a step back, Amy has used the opportunity to reshape the business into a ‘book café’, combining her love of showcasing her dad’s work and her passion for reading.

“We’ve had a great reception to the change. We’ve gone back to a limited food menu of scones, cakes, focaccia bread and toasts, but customers have made coming in to relax and read a book a part of their ritual. They come in on the same afternoon every week, rent out one of our books and spend a couple of hours sitting in a comfy chair. Then once they’re done, we place a bookmark in it and they pick up where they left off the following week. It’s a really relaxing day out,” said Amy.

“We also have a lot of support, aged care and NDIS groups who regularly visit from Playford and Salisbury. Last week we had two groups of around 30 come out for scones and a drink. It’s a great little escape from the city without being too far.”

The beautiful gardens and abundant shade at Da Vince also make it an ideal location for outdoor weddings, with couples finding the ‘colosseum of life’ to be an incredibly special place from which to make a lifetime commitment in front of up to 100 guests. Amy says that they have hosted countless weddings, but she still ‘gets a kick out of seeing the reactions on the faces of the bride and groom’, when they get to see the venue for the first time.

The thing that Amy says always keeps her motivated though is her community.

“I Just love all the people I meet through Da Vince. They have been so supportive of the business and are really good at supporting local – which is so important to our economy. Whenever I can, I always make sure that I tell my customers about other amazing places that you can visit around One Tree Hill like The Blacksmiths Inn, The Old Throttle Shed and Tenafeate Creek Wines. When we all support each other like that, the whole region benefits.”

You can visit Da Vince at 88 Cross Hill Road, One Tree Hill. At the time of writing, the café is open from 9am till 2pm, Wednesday to Friday. The venue is available to hire for private events on weekends. Visit the Da Vince website to find out more.