Author: Helen Farrell

Editor-in-Chief of The Florentine, Helen writes about food, wine and all things literary. She is also a freelance contributor to Decanter. Email her at and follow her on Instagram @helencfarrell.
March 7, 2019

A talk with Tuscany’s agriculture councillor

Shifts in the dairy sector, wine culture developments
March 1, 2019

Pitti Immagine Taste 2019: healthy highlights

Bread might be the main course at this year’s March mainstay, Taste, but healthy eating is the all-round pairing. From March 9 to 11, the Stazione Leopolda welcomes an array of natural food companies for the fourteenth edition of Florence’s favourite food event. Grosseto-based firm Severino Becagli serves Tuscan-grown spirulina, a microalga with a high […]
February 12, 2019

Fregula with pumpkin and gorgonzola

“Focusing on seasonal produce was a choice we made to respond to what’s going on right now in the restaurant world; there’s a real need to do something original. Much has to happen before we chefs get our hands on seasonal produce. Food bought in the right season is taken at its zenith, it’s of […]
February 11, 2019

Winter safety checks at Florence Cathedral

The interior walls of Florence’s Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and, for the first time, the drum of the dome, are undergoing checks to ascertain the state of their conservation to date.

Unidentified Florence Objects

There’s a “UFO” in the Palazzo Vecchio. The metre-wide tondo actually goes by the name of Madonna and Child with Young St. John the Baptist and hangs in the Room of Hercules on the top floor of the city hall. The scene seems an anodyne affair at first glance, the sort of private commission painted […]
February 5, 2019

Wine previews in Tuscany 2019

Tuscany is home to almost 60,000 hectares of vineyards. From February 9 to 18, the regional wine previews, held in Florence, San Gimignano, Montepulciano and Montalcino, provide an opportunity to find out more.
February 4, 2019

The backstory on Baci chocolates

A blue box of silver-foil chocolates wrapped with a note is a failsafe on February 14. But there’s actually a real-life love story behind the Baci. When Perugia-born clothing designer Luisa Spagnoli first invented the hazelnut-centred chocolate in 1922, she called it a cazzotto because it resembled a fist. The name didn’t ring right to […]
January 31, 2019

Interview with Tuscany’s immigration councillor

The Salvini Decree, social inclusion and the Tuscan response
January 18, 2019

Is the Leaning Tower straightening out?

"Like human nature, it's almost falling but never does"
January 17, 2019

A chat with the new director of Florence’s French Institute

"I always want to discover Florence’s wealth of heritage"