DescriptionHappy 2023! It’s that time when we make plans for the future and consider the changes we’d like to implement in our daily lives. Florence began the year with a new-look subway leading from Santa Maria Novella train station to the start of via Panzani. It’s a vast improvement on the previous dingy underground passage that had gone decades without any upkeep. While the upgrade does not extend to the entirety of the corridor (the end nearest the terminus retains its old marble flooring), the raw concrete ceiling and freshly painted grey pavements inject a much-needed lease of life alongside contemporary stores such as MiniSo and popular eateries like I Love Poke and Grom. The opening of a Starbucks has been met with the usual controversy: a poll on our Instagram revealed that 28 per cent of @theflorentine’s audience would be interested in purchasing a Frappuccino at the Seattle giant’s coffee shop in central Florence. Up on ground level, we start 2023 with a preview of the year ahead. Prising information from organizations around town for this guide is always a tricky task. Press offices are obliged to keep details quiet until press conferences are held (often on the same day that an exhibition opens!), which is a shame when you consider that one way to cultivate quality tourism is to empower Florence lovers who plan their trips ahead of time and based on content. On the theme of empowerment, our lead interview this month is with Sunday Riley, the founder and CEO of the namesake skincare brand. Riley bought a farm, unseen, about an hour outside Florence at the height of the pandemic. She’s now in the process of renovating the property, while moving between Tuscany and Houston, where her family and company are based. Turn to pages 8-9 for an inspiring read. New year, new life for you too, perhaps? If you’re thinking of moving to Florence but don’t know where to begin, it might be time to gain practical tips from Danielle Leite (see page 10), whose relocation service provides all the essentials. Starting over in Tuscany is something that Carla Danella is learning all about. Feeling “listless” and “dissatisfied” in the wake of the pandemic, the writer and archivist made the move to Poppiano, a hamlet about 20 kilometres southwest of Florence, and is now (mostly) cheerfully grappling with the various issues an old country apartment embodies.
As this January issue starts to circulate, the fashionistas will be brightening the city streets during the 103th edition of Pitti Uomo. CEO of Pitti Immagine, Raffaello Napoleone, takes time out of his busy schedule to explain the trade show’s role in the post-pandemic world of fashion as well as the brand’s powerful extension to other sectors, such as dance, publishing and food. Other poignant highlights this month include Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27: creative Hershey Felder and study-abroad student Victoria Bart share their thoughts about Jewish life in Italy as descendants of Holocaust survivors (pages 22-23).