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 [email protected] and follow her on Instagram @helencfarrell.
September 16, 2019

Tenuta Prima Pietra: an organic winery with a sea view

  The thriving vineyard of Tenuta Prima Pietra unfurls along a winding woodland road above the hillside town of Riparbella as a stylish wooden gate and stone sign announce the discreet entranceway. With the sea in the distance and salinity in the air, cypress trees escort visitors down the reddish track to the brick-fronted farmhouse, […]
September 15, 2019

The Botany of Leonardo exhibition at Santa Maria Novella

  As the Year of Leonardo draws to a close, Florence celebrates the Tuscan genius with a spectacular exhibition bridging art, nature and science in the dormitory and great cloister of the Santa Maria Novella complex, where Leonardo sketched preparatory cartoons for The Battle of Anghiari in the early 16th century.     On stepping into […]
September 10, 2019

The scent sorcerer: Sileno Cheloni

  You might not be searching for the philosopher’s stone down via di San Niccolò, but strolling into Sileno Cheloni’s signature atelier feels like you’ve found it. This blue-hued den is a cabinet of curiosities that charms passersby powerless before personalized perfumes.     Helen Farrell: Do people come to you with a clear idea […]
September 3, 2019

The power of plants: Stefano Mancuso

Stefano Mancuso knows more about plants than most people. He’s the director of LINV – International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology, whose headquarters are in Florence, but whose tendrils unfurl all over the world, from Japan to Germany. This summer, Mancuso’s team has put down its roots at the ever-growing Manifattura Tabacchi and the plant neurobiologist […]
September 2, 2019

Bolgheri DOC wine appellation celebrates 25 years

      On August 31, the Bolgheri DOC Consortium celebrated 25 years since red winemaking guidelines were introduced to the wine appellation with a glittering gala dinner along the world-famous cypress-lined avenue leading to the Tuscan town.       About 700 people, including Bolgheri DOC producers, journalists and dignitaries, attended the extraordinary event […]
July 23, 2019

Jan van Huysum’s painting returned to the Palazzo Pitti

    Jan van Huysum’s painting Vase of Flowers has been returned to Florence’s Palazzo Pitti following a plea by Uffizi Galleries director Eike Schmidt.   The German Army stole the painting, along with several other still-life masterpieces from the 17th and 18th centuries, from the Villa Bossi-Pucci during their retreat in 1944.
July 17, 2019

Skydiving over Florence

Now, I see the sky in a different light. This weekend, I eyed up my terrace’s base-jumping potential and obsessed as a drone was piloted downriver. On Friday, I tumbled out of a plane at 4,000 metres on a tandem skydive, the most empowering experience in my life to date.           […]

Thought for food

Leading environmentalists and journalists visited Castello di Potentino, in the Maremma, for an international symposium about food and the environment between June 6 to 11.   The London-based journalism pioneer The Frontline Club and food, wine and cultural hub Castello di Potentino teamed up to highlight pressing environmental issues and address them through a series […]
July 8, 2019

Where love is illegal

Collective consciousness, pressing social issues and art are the driving forces behind ULTRA, a night-long photography exhibition to be held in Prato’s former industrial space Corte Genova.             On July 19, from 9pm to 7am, LGBTQIA+ rights will take centre stage in Where Love is Illegal, a reportage project by […]
July 2, 2019

Summer hotspots in Florence 2019

For music lovers and boogie aficionados, there’s a plethora of spots, old and new, that open during the summer months. Most of these places offer more than just tunes and good vibes. With free yoga classes, delicious street food and even a skate park popping up, it’s set to be a scorcher.     THE […]