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.
March 17, 2020

Recipe: onion soup

Onions are my current obsession: I cry while cutting them, having tuned into the latest 6pm death toll, and my other half thinks I’m just preparing dinner.   One bone-chilling lunch at a time before lockdown, I caught up with a close friend at La Grotta Guelfa, the via Pellicceria watering hole with the curly […]
March 3, 2020

The pizza makers

Florence might not be Naples, but in recent times the city’s pizza scene has improved dramatically. The Florentine spoke with three award-winning (and down-to-earth) pizzaioli—Marco Manzi, Romualdo Rizzuti and Giovanni Santarpia—about quality pizza, their preferred techniques and favourite toppings.     Marco Manzi      POB: 27/09/1990, Naples In addition to Giotto Pizzeria Bistrot (via […]
March 2, 2020

Mixing cultures: Make and Bake

Bostonian Louisa Loring and Milanese Gaia D’Alò have put the cherry on the top of their friendship by launching Make and Bake, a Florence-based company that produces gourmet mixes for American desserts made with quality Italian ingredients.             The business was born out of Louisa’s passion for cooking and love […]

If buns could fly: Wild Buns Bakery

Estonian Robert Marrandi is as good a businessman as he is a baker. The brains behind Scandinavian-style pop-up bakery Wild Buns, Robert singlehandedly crafts batches of cinnamon buns. He’s a stylish dresser too, head to toe in black, his charcoal grey apron the only tonal concession as we chatted during one of his recent pop-up […]
February 26, 2020

Angel Roofbar & Dining: energetic and easy

Tavola, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. A few years ago, I spent a long weekend in New York with my Mum to celebrate her 70th birthday. We walked and walked, and found ourselves on a nondescript block somewhere in West Manhattan. Our aching feet sought solace from the sidewalks in a gorgeous Italian restaurant on the corner […]
February 18, 2020

Vietnam to Tuscany

Between 2004 and 2018, the number of children adopted from abroad in Italy decreased. According to data, the number of adopted children peaked in 2010 with 4,130 adoptions, and fell from that year onwards. In 2018, 1,394 children were adopted in Italy. For more information about international adoption in Italy, see   Adopting is […]
February 5, 2020

Le Sorgenti: made with love

    Last Christmas, a friend gave me a bottle of Tuscan Malbec. (“You’ll find this interesting.”) Fruit-forward, faintly spiced and easy-drinking, it proved a tasty winter tonic by family-run winery Le Sorgenti.     Fed by three springs (sorgente means spring in Italian), this Bagno a Ripoli winery sits above the Arno river just […]
January 22, 2020


  If cocktails are your poison, you might be tempted to run away to the Ego Circus, a four-month mixology festival in Florence’s bars.   On until March 30, talented Italian and international barmen are shaking things up at a variety of locations. Bar Empireo at Hotel Plaza Lucchesi is the festival’s hub, while events […]


The Gabinetto Vieusseux is celebrating its 200th anniversary, with two years of exhibitions, publications and events, in the name of reading and civil progress.   Founded by Giovan Pietro Vieusseux on January 25, 1820 in Palazzo Buondelmonti in piazza Santa Trinita, the institution changed the course of Italian and European culture, educating future generations of […]
January 14, 2020

Nugolo: garden of goodness

I skimmed my trusty dictionary the weekend before checking out the latest culinary kid on the Sant’Ambrogio block. The name was nagging at me. What did nugolo mean?         Bunches of tomatoes dangle like cotton-wool clouds from the ceiling as excited diners cross the threshold into the garage turned garden-style restaurant along […]