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.
November 21, 2013

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

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,
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
October 10, 2013

National round-up

Political turmoil and the unprecedented humanitarian disaster off the coast of the Southern Italian island, Lampedusa: Italy continues to occupy the international spotlight.   In the early hours of October 3, a boat carrying refugees, mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, capsized after catching fire, leaving as many as 300 people
September 26, 2013

The brains behind L’Eroica

The world-famous vintage bike rally L’Eroica is held every year on the first Sunday in October on the dusty ‘white’ roads around Gaiole in Chianti. We interviewed the man who came up with the concept that continues to gather a local and international following—

Sara Amrhein, American jewelry designer and expat in Florence

  Take a stroll along via de’ Mezzo, in the Sant’Ambrogio neighbourhood of Florence, and you’ll come across a glass-fronted studio. Welcome to Sara Amrhein’s creative space and boutique, lovingly dotted with her artisan jewellery and artwork, bursting with colour and life.   Born on Long Island, New York, and raised in Southern California, Amrhein […]
September 12, 2013

The Latest on the World Cycling Championships

The bikes are about to come to town, and the City of Florence has released more information for residents and visitors during this world-calibre event. On Saturday, September 21, a dedicated information point will open in palazzo San Firenze, in piazza San Firenze, offering up-to-date details about