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 [email protected] and follow her on Instagram @helencfarrell.
February 28, 2021

Born for the upward flight – 700 Dante: Editor’s Letter

Children were cycling across the pietra serena slabs and locals were tucking into panini in piazza Santa Croce as I perched on a bench beneath Dante Alighieri’s stony stare. Ravenna-born sculptor Enrico Pazzi donated the statue to Florence in 1865 to mark the 600th anniversary of the poet’s birth. Dante stands protectively above our heads, […]
February 10, 2021

At the Questura: obtaining a biometric residence document for UK nationals

Memories of a visit to the Florence police headquarters in 2002 involve shouting, crying and a muscular guy being manhandled off the premises. Yesterday, calm and the occasional pigeon pervaded at the Questura on a quest to obtain the post-Brexit biometric residence document.     The via della Fortezza immigration office in Florence     […]
February 4, 2021

Welcoming words with Reverend Richard Easterling

It was the sunniest of Florentine mornings when I sat down in the vestry with Reverend Richard Easterling and his husband David Wohlgemuth. Richard is the new priest-in-charge of St. James Episcopal Church, who is settling into the role after six years as the rector of St. George’s Church in New Orleans.        […]
February 2, 2021

Whoever drinks Black earns color: Editor’s Letter

Black Madonnas occupied every landing in the Elba Island hotel where I retreated last summer. Beautiful to behold, sacred and ageless, the transracial religious art in an isolated corner of Tuscany elicited introspection when Black Lives Matter protests were calling each and every one of us to action.           It was […]
January 26, 2021

Invest in Tuscany: celebrating 10 years of foreign investment

Retail represents 28% of the FDI made between 2016 and 2020, followed by hospitality (16%) and manufacturing (15%)
January 25, 2021

Andrea Perini’s “raw passion”

Growing up around olive oil: “My grandfather and uncle made oil and always took me to the mill; it’s a world that has always fascinated me. Pressing olive oil was a time of celebration, an occasion to share family traditions. I’d peek through the windows of the restaurant next door and learn about aromas and […]
January 21, 2021

Vermouth from Tuscany

Vermouth is a night-off for a wine lover. Coriander? Tonka bean? Sage? Like pot pourri in a tumbler, guessing the botanicals defies reason. The fortified and aromatized wine is basking in newfound popularity around the world, especially Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with vermouth sales forecast to rise by 3.3 percent this year, according […]
January 20, 2021

Editor’s picks: Food heroes

Meet the food heroes of Florence. As 2021 begins, thank you is due to the people who nourish us, belly and soul.       Farmer to the rescue: La Valle del Sasso       Nobody does customer service like Flavio Giannetti, a farmer and family man who cares as deeply about his carnivorous […]
January 18, 2021

Made in Tuscany: the companies that make a difference in our daily lives

Made in Tuscany is a bellwether of style and functionality. We start 2021 by bigging up the brands who make a difference in our daily lives.     Top left to bottom left (clockwise): IVV glassware, Mangusta Yachts, Locman watches, Laika caravans, all made in Tuscany       The sun is rising over the […]
January 14, 2021

Talking community with Nirav Tolia

Nirav Tolia is an über-successful entrepreneur who studied at Stanford University before working for Yahoo! and going on to found his own businesses including Epinions and, most notably, Nextdoor. With his wife Megha and their three children, Nirav is currently enjoying an extended sabbatical in Florence as a member of Palazzo Tornabuoni.       […]