Florence has a long-standing relationship with Kyiv, having been twinned with the capital of Ukraine since July 27, 1967, when Catholic Mayor Piero Bargellini sought diplomacy with his Communist counterpart during the Cold War, a year after the devastating Florence ood of 1966. Sharing a history based on culture, in 2015, Florence gave a statue of Dante to Kyiv and, in 2021, the capital of Ukraine reciprocated by gifting a statue of the poet Taras Shevchenko to Florence, which continues to stand in the courtyard of the Oblate library.
Thoughts of mine, thoughts of mine, My one and only stay,
You at least do not abandon
Me these bitter days…
We shall weep together.
—Taras Shevchenko (1848)
Before war broke out in Ukraine, we had tailored this month’s edition as The Food Issue, which is why you’ll nd interviews with chefs and food in uencers, an overview of the rise of ne bakeries (page 8) and a review of Florence’s hottest new opening, Gucci Giardino 25 (page 9), both written by Phoebe Hunt for The Florentine. Photographer Robbin Gheesling shows us a di erent side of the city’s wine doors (page 13) and Hershey Felder explores Pampaloni’s artisanal silver workshop/wonderland in via del Gelsomino (pages 22-23). Catalin Varela sums up the best places to eat for celiacs (page 20), Hayley Da ern does a round-up of cheap eats on a student budget and Harry Cochrane dedicates (or doesn’t) a poem to a certain sandwich shop on via dei Neri (page 17). On the wine front, Gabriele Gorelli explains his rst twelve months as Italy’s only Master of Wine (page 18) and Ru no’s president, Sandro Sartor, sits down with David Bach to explain his company’s successful approach to the pandemic (pages 26-27). This focus on food in Florence is a tting tribute to Fabio Picchi, the chef and owner of Cibrèo, who died last week aged 67. The life and soul, pride and joy of the Sant’Ambrogio neighbourhood, Picchi opened his rst restaurant in 1979 before slowly building a Florentine food-centric business within the same quadrangle of the historic centre. Turn to page 5 to learn about his inspiring life.
If you’re feeling low, head to the Opera del Duomo Museum where Michelangelo’s three Pietà statues—Bandini Pietà, Rondanini Pietà and a cast of the Vatican Pietà—stand side by side for the rst time in a vision of pure beauty. Or nd solace gazing at the nine bronze busts of Michelangelo attributed to Daniele da Volterra in the Accademia Gallery.