Author: Helen Farrell

Editor-in-Chief of The Florentine, Helen writes about food, wine and all things literary. Helen manages The Florentine's translation and copywriting department. She is also a freelance contributor to Decanter, Newsweek and Der Feinschmecker. Email her at and follow her on Instagram @helencfarrell.
December 12, 2013

An interview with Riccardo Maccolini

A feeling of togetherness and tranquillity pervades Palazzo Tornabuoni the moment you step inside off the busy thoroughfare of via degli Strozzi. I spoke with Riccardo Maccolini, who recently became the president of private residence Club Tornabuoni, returning home to Florence after a long spell working in fashion and retail

New old-school Uffizi

For visitors to the Uffizi Gallery who are short on time but eager to take in the highlights of the famed museum, there's an app for that... the Uffizi Art History Guide.   The easy-to-use app for IOS devices (there is also Kindle e-book version) lists

Snow news

Many of those who enjoy skiing in Tuscany know that the Toscana Neve website ( provides full snow reports for the ski areas throughout the region. Now some handy apps have been developed to allow skiers to check weather, slope conditions and more.   The mountain section of

Renzi wins landslide victory in PD primaries

Speaking at Florence’s Obihall, backed by the slogan of his electoral campaign in inverted letters, ‘L’Italia cambia verso’ [Italy changes direction], new Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi thanked the people of Italy, his wife and his opponents.   With 67.8 percent of the
November 21, 2013

An interview with Vito Mollica

Walking into the sumptuous surroundings of Palazzo della Gherardesca is always a soothing and pleasurable experience, but it is all the more so when one is about to meet the Four Seasons Florence’s Michelin-starred chef, Vito Mollica. Modest in his success and amiable with all, Basilicata-born

Identity regenerator

For centuries, the city's niches and shrines have been regarded as sacred places. Yet today, the original meaning of many of these tabernacles has been lost, and they have become increasingly invisible in the complexities of the cityscape. Although many still contain faded frescoes or votive offerings behind glass,

Coffee culture

In 2012, Italians spent 35 percent of their entire food budget at cafés and restaurants, higher than the 32 percent average for the European Union.   Forget Facebook and Twitter: this face-to-face social network is alive and kicking, and somewhat twitchy, given its caffeine intake. But
October 24, 2013

Talking wine

The last time you quaffed a glass of Chianti Classico, did you pause in your pleasure to gaze at its colour and inhale its aroma? Stopping for a few seconds is all part of the entertainment when it comes to wine tasting. While sommeliers teach the best methods to observe

Seasonal syndrome

Anyone else suffering from cambio di stagione? After 11 years in Florence, my robust British constitution is wavering and I am starting to be afflicted by uniquely Italian ailments. As I write these words, my head is inclined to the left while my right ear is dripping with an almond

Stop to ‘femicide’

The decree on ‘femicide’ has become law. On October 13, the Italian Senate approved the new measures against domestic violence, doing so in record time with the backing of political parties Popolo della Libertà, Partito Democratico and Scelta Civica. Groups MoVimento 5 Stelle, Lega Nord and Sinistra