Author: Harry Cochrane

Harry Cochrane is a jobbing man of letters from Northumberland. When he’s not penning his own poetry, Harry is likely reviewing other people’s for the Times Literary Supplement, or commenting on opera as The Florentine’s resident reviewer. You can follow him on Twitter @hjccochrane
September 25, 2020

Bicentenary of Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi

“Eh bien, mon prince, Gênes et Lucques ne sont plus que des apanges, des estates, de la famille Buonaparte.” It’s not so shocking that the very first sentence of War and Peace should be in French: an awful lot of the novel is. The real surprise is that it should mention not Moscow or St. […]
September 10, 2020

A chat with cellist Antonio Lysy

Cellist Antonio Lysy has just completed the 32nd edition of Incontri in Terra di Siena, a chamber music concert festival that he and his mother Benedetta Origo founded back in 1987, and which takes place every year at the old family home of La Foce, near Montepulciano. Antonio lives in Los Angeles, where he and his […]
July 21, 2020

The Covid-19 Visual Project

Cortona On The Move is not quite what you would expect to find in a gorgeous if geriatric Etruscan hilltown near Arezzo. Archaeological museums, yes, palazzi looking out over the shimmering Val di Chiana, certainly. You would bet against finding Italy’s biggest photography festival. Yet that is exactly what Cortona hosts every summer.     […]

The housing virus

I’m never quite sure which is more depressing: renting a place in Florence or looking for someone to rent one. The same problem afflicts both parties: too many people are desperate for accommodation in a city which is, ultimately, the size of a shoebox. Temporary accommodation at that, for the vast majority of foreign renters […]
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 […]