Author: Harry Cochrane

Harry Cochrane is a jobbing man of letters from Northumberland. When he’s not penning his own poetry, Harry’s busy reviewing other people’s verses for The Times Literary Supplement, teaching English, translating, and commenting on opera as The Florentine’s resident reviewer.
June 11, 2020

Other bridges are available

Venice has the Rialto, Florence has the Ponte Vecchio. The bridge that famously survived the war is surely the sight most snapped in all the city. Yet perversely, of the five bridges in what I consider the city centre, the Ponte Vecchio is the one I tread the least. Partly because, in Normal Times, it’s […]
June 9, 2020

The Ponte Vecchio predicament

The jewellers will start to trade again with shared, sustainable projects
May 14, 2020

Radio Cavolo: Florence’s newest radio station

Confined to our homes for the last two months, we have had a lot of time to indulge in entertainment media. Many are the memes bewailing their author’s Netflix dependency, and Pornhub famously offered free premium membership when they learned that patrons were going to have a lot of me-time on their hands. But when […]
May 13, 2020

Frances Mayes, Always Italy

Frances Mayes usually spends her springs in Cortona, at her famous Bramasole, the villa that is at the center of her bestselling book Under the Tuscan Sun and the dream it represents. Due to travel restrictions, of course, this spring is different: she’s at her home in North Carolina, where she says “when life gives […]
April 30, 2020

We rub our eyes in the daylight

Saturday evening, February 29, I found myself eating in an Oltrarno restaurant, Antico Ristoro di Cambi. The place was packed to the gills, but fish was a rare sight on the menu: it was proper Florentine fare, beefy and bready. I was contrary and went for my new favourite, thoroughly southern dish: melanzane alla parmigiana. […]
April 17, 2020

Distant yet united harmonies of St Mark’s

Except when in the shower, singing is one of those art forms that seems to demand company. With a piano, your fingers can produce ten notes at the same time, but unless you are a Mongolian throat singer, your voice will only produce one. Among the countless enterprises to have suffered from Covid-19—bars, restaurant, sports […]
March 24, 2020

Exiled inside: parallels with Dante Alighieri

For the moment, we settle into a different exile, the one that really matters, and that is our personal severance from all society.

Dante Revisited

        I entered my old home like one entranced. Quaresima was almost ticked away. “What Lenten diet, how much have they renounced?”   I wondered, “they’ve even given up day- light.” For the streets were bare of men and women, save one who stood before me in the way.   “You don’t […]
March 17, 2020

Retreat into your home, not into yourself

I was at a birthday party when the news came through. Italy was under lockdown. It was 11pm or so. Buoyed by other people’s wine and other people’s cigarette fumes—I have always been the most passive of smokers—I took it with gung-ho optimism. Well, social gatherings might be banned, but that’s exactly what we’re having […]
March 11, 2020

Leigh Hunt: “the wit in the dungeon”

When people speak of the British Romantic poets who made a home of Tuscany, the name of Leigh Hunt is often neglected. The Italian stories of Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley and Lord Byron are far better known. But this son of a clergyman, as founder and editor of a radical journal called The Examiner, made—even […]