Kirsten Hills

Kirsten Hills worked as a video-journalist for BBC and ITV for ten years. She moved to Florence in 2011 and now works as a videomaker here.

Articles by the author


Children return to the piazzas

  On May 1, Tuscany lifted lockdown measures, allowing residents outside for walks and bike rides. What we’re seeing is Florence emerge as a city for children and families, who ...


The Monuments’ man

  We all know that in the World War II large parts of the centre of Florence were bombed as the Germans retreated. But how is it that so much ...


First impressions

Every year thousands of students come to Florence to study. The move is often the first time abroad for many of them, so just what do they think when they arrive in the city? What are the best ways to feel at home for a semester or longer? And what


Speaking about the unspeakable

The high rate of domestic violence and femicide in Italy is a well-documented fact, and the expat community is not immune to this problem. An American professor has developed a play that looks at domestic violence among American women married to Italian men, striving to break the silence surrounding


Silver service

Florentine firm Pampaloni is famous for its original and beautiful silverware. Behind the brand is a dynamic company headed by two brothers who continue the business that their grandfather started more than 100 years ago. Kirsten Hills went to check out the brothers’ latest innovations.   If you walk


Nehemiah H. Brown

Christmas is the busiest time of year for choirs, and none more so than the Florence Gospel Choir, the first of its kind in Italy. It was co-founded more than 15 years ago by American musician Nehemiah H. Brown and Eusebio De Cristofaro. I went to meet Nehemiah Brown,


The culture of cinematography

Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who filmed Academy Award winners Apocalypse Now, Reds and The Last Emperor as well as Last Tango In Paris, The Conformist and Dick Tracy, was recently in Florence to attend an event hosted by Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici.   Storaro, born in Rome in


Community blossoms

The United States first invented community gardening—the process of transforming disused urban spaces into greener ones. Now the idea is taking off in Florence. For three years, teams of volunteers have been hard at work constructing a garden for the community.   Florence’s first community garden


Viva le differenze!

In TF 177, our Valentine’s Day issue, we looked at expatriates who have stayed in Florence for love. But what happens years down the line, once the honeymoon period has passed, and you have to come to terms with many cross-cultural differences? Relationships can be a challenge


We wish you a kiddie’s Christmas…

With the holidays approaching, perhaps you're wondering what to do with your little ones? I asked the people who know best: the Firenze Mums4Mums ( network. Here are their top 10 activities for kids in Florence at Christmas.     SEE SANTA. Perhaps put off by the


Nicholas Brownlees

When it comes to knowledge of the English language, Nicholas Brownlees is an expert, not only because it's his mother tongue, but also because he has taught English in Florence for 38 years. Starting his career as a teacher at the British Institute, Brownlees is now associate professor at


Susan Nevelson

Think of fashion in the 1960s, and you are probably picturing Susan Nevelson's work. She pioneered the flower-power prints of the decade, working for her friend and designer Ken Scott. Her prints have been worn by celebrities like Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot. Aged 87, she


Alison Walker: A minister in Florence

Think of the movie stereotype of the Protestant minister. Now picture Alison Walker, who is 36, female, married, drives a camper van and, yes, is a Methodist minister.   Walker moved to Florence almost three years ago, speaking no Italian. But that had to quickly change. As pastor of the


Sleeping beauty

Once abandoned, Castelfalfi, an 800-year-old Tuscan village, is being reborn. A German travel company purchased the town and began renovating it, with plans to make it a thriving town and resort. The project, one of the largest such in Europe, promises to bring the village ‘back to


What lies beneath

Preliminary work on the high-speed TAV lines started in Florence this month. While the railway system promises to ease intercity travel, shorten journey times to France, and lessen road traffic, there is much fear among residents in Florence's northern neighbourhoods about the impact that the underground drilling may


Justice in the press?

Over the past four years, the trials of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Knox's roommate in Perugia, British study-abroad student Meredith Kercher, have received international media attention. In Italy and the United Kingdom, many of the lurid front-page headlines and articles portrayed Knox