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.
May 5, 2021

At home with Christian and Florence Levett

Former investment manager, now full-time art collector Christian Levett and his wife Florence recently moved to the city. Their central Florence home is an inspiring gallery in its own right, hung with abstraction art by women artists, alongside classical busts and lovingly framed family photos. The Florentine spoke with Christian and Florence one grey afternoon, […]
April 28, 2021

TYPIQO: quality bites

It takes guts to open a business during a pandemic, but Antonio Badalamenti has shown he can stomach it. Formerly the chef at Nugolo (2020’s rave review restaurant opening, back in the days when restaurant reviews were written!), Antonio and his Sydney-based brother Alessandro spent summer 2020 thinking up TYPIQO, an online quality grocery delivery […]
April 27, 2021

Restoring the Archangel: Mircea Maria Gerard Foundation

The conservation and restoration of the Archangel Raffaele e Tobiolo, which Giovanni Baratta sculpted between 1696 and 1698, has proven a months-long labour of love for the Mircea Maria Gerard Foundation and an international team of women restorers.         Luke Olbrich founded the Mircea Maria Gerard Foundation in 2016, in loving memory […]

Art takes a stand: Editor’s Letter

“Somehow, in painting, I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos.” American Abstract Expressionist artist Grace Hartigan’s words hit home during the recent ‘Restoration Conversations’ series led by AWA director Linda Falcone around art collectors Christian and Florence Levett’s home gallery in the city centre. […]
April 16, 2021

Mary Ann Esposito: a knight of regional Italian food

New Hampshire-based author and TV anchor Mary Ann Esposito has devoted her 30-year career to championing Italian regional cuisines. In this interview, the host of America’s longest-running television cooking program, Ciao Italia, recalls the beginnings of her love for Italian food, explains the charitable work carried out by her foundation and humbly plays down the […]
March 29, 2021

The Crying Plate: Editor’s Letter

This April issue is a tribute to Florence’s food—and, in particular, restaurant—scene.         Il piatto piange is an Italian expression, literally, “the plate is crying”, meaning that the salver is deprived of food. The anthropomorphism can be extended to the restaurants and eateries of Florence whose tables, in turn, have no customers. […]
March 18, 2021

At the pub (when we could) with Benson Taylor

It’s an overcast Friday afternoon as I sit down with Benson Taylor in the pub in piazza Santa Maria Novella. The composer and producer is usually making music in his recently adopted home in the province of Pisa, but the Bradford lad warmly agreed to a drive down the FI-PI-LI for a beer and a […]
March 10, 2021

Florence Airport to reopen on April 2 with a resurfaced runway

Florence Airport will reopen on April 2 with a newly paved, high-performance runway.
March 4, 2021

If Dante were here now: a self-guided tour of Florence

Retracing Dante’s steps means setting off on a unique journey into the art, history, culture and spirituality of Florence in the mid-1300s. In this self-guided tour of Dante’s Florence, we peel back the layers of history, often in plain view of the piazzas and occasionally hidden away in the medieval backstreets.         […]
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, […]