Dear readers and friends,
As many of you may already know, I will be on maternity leave as of this issue. Unfortunately, my leave from The Florentine will not be temporary, as I will also be leaving Florence for Milan to be closer to my husband’s family (for many of the reasons mentioned in Suzi Jenkins’s latest article, ‘The nonni economy,’ in TF 183). However before I go, a few words are in order.
We have spent many years together on and off the pages of The Florentine. It has been such a wonderful and highly informative experience to experiment, analyze, study, learn and teach with such a tight-knit group as the TF family.
Since joining the team in 2007, first as news editor, then in 2010 as managing editor, I have grown immensely both personally and professionally. In this same period, The Florentine has also grown and prospered.
In the almost six years I’ve worked at The Florentine, I have witnessed and helped usher in some dramatic changes at the paper: a new design; a more efficient and entertaining online presence through the website and social media; new editorial content, including the introduction of Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi’s only column in a print publication, Write the Mayor; new partnerships, among them the launch, with the Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute, of a media channel in English in Florence, LdM News (www.ldmnews.it); books published on such important issues as Florence’s forgotten women artists (one of which has led to an Emmy award!).
I like to think that I had a small part in many of these successes, yet I am confident that The Florentine will go on to celebrate many more ‘firsts’ in the years to come, especially under the leadership of the new managing editor, Helen Farrell.
I will always maintain a connection to Florence thanks to The Florentine and will continue to contribute to future issues, even if from afar. Until then, be well and the best of luck to all!
Con affetto, Brenda Dionisi
Carissimi TF readers,
Firstly, on behalf of TF’s readers and staff, I’d like to thank Brenda Dionisi for her dedication, vision and energy over the last six years.
A bit about me: I’ve always worked with words, both as an editor and translator. I moved to Florence in 2002, when I was offered a job at a publishing company in the Santa Croce neighbourhood. At the time I neither spoke nor understood a word of Italian: I was just another fresh-faced young university graduate keen to live abroad.
Eleven years on, I am wedded to Italy, for better for worse. My family and friends back in the United Kingdom still remark, ‘You were supposed to go over there for a year or so, learn how to dress well and cook pasta properly—you were never meant to stay!’ While I’m not convinced I’ve accomplished either of those goals (well, I’ve cracked al dente), it’s the classic expat tale. People come to Florence and fall in love: with its art and heritage; the first time you pick olives and taste the peppery green-gold oil you helped to make; with that glorious pink midsummer sunset that is a balm to the senses and restores your faith in life here, despite the challenges that Italy throws at us every day.
The Florentine is our paper—mine and yours—for it belongs to Florence’s English-speaking community. We share a deep-seated love of this city of astonishing beauty that never ceases to inspire. As TF’s new managing editor, I’m here to embrace your ideas and suggestions, stories and experiences. I look forward to working with you to carry on The Florentine tradition.