Issue 311 – Changing perspectives

BUY THIS ISSUE – The Florentine May 2024

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We are at the start of the election season as early June sees Florentines cast their vote to decide who will rule the roost at the Palazzo Vecchio. This month’s cover by Massimo Listri is a testament to the imminent changing of the guard.



Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.

—Machiavelli, The Prince

I honestly have no idea if there really is some method in the madness, but there’s definitely a touch of methodical crazies in the air this May. We are at the start of the election season as early June sees Florentines cast their vote to decide who will rule the roost at the Palazzo Vecchio and Europeans decide their representatives at the European Parliament. The centre left are split between three women with local political experience, the centre-right and right rest on the shoulders of the former director of the Uffizi, and a list of independent citizen-centric candidates fills up the rest of the ballot. In times such as these, I find myself turning to Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince. Although written in the 16th century, his thoughts on politics, leadership and government still ring true today. Find out more about the elections on pages 6-7, including whether you are entitled to vote.

Our cover is a testament to the imminent changing of the guard and a reminder of the ephemerality of politics compared with the permanence of the Palazzo Vecchio. To this end, we invited Florentine photographer extraordinaire Massimo Listri to feature one of his captivating images of the seat of civic power on this month’s front page, and we are nothing short of thrilled that he accepted. Grazie Massimo!

While we inevitably look to the future, it’s only right that we take a moment to hear from Florence’s mayor of the last ten years, who has now set his sights on Europe. On page 5, Dario Nardella speaks about his “unconditional love of the city”, his administration’s accomplishments, and the privilege and responsibility of leading somewhere like Florence. One aspect of Nardella’s legacy can be seen in the forthcoming introduction of video surveillance throughout the city to analyze traffic and lower emission levels over the next three years. Referred to as the “green shield” (Scudo Verde), CCTV cameras will record number plates to understand the level of pollution caused by vehicles before gradually implementing bans on older cars, scooters and motorbikes. Learn more about the impact on page 8.

Community remains the core of our mission at The Florentine, which is why we display the passion project behind the development of a community darkroom (page 27), the neighbourhood spirit alive and well in the Ardiglione Gardens (page 28) and celebrate the edicola (newsstand) under threat of extinction in the digital era (page 29).

Make the most of May in town by marking Cinco de Mayo (page 18), attending the array of community events (pages 16-17) or embracing a cultural festival such as Florence’s 86th Maggio Musicale concert series with a focus on Giacomo Puccini on the centenary of his death, as well as Festivalino organized at the end of the month by Fondazione Mascarade Opera at Palazzo Corsini al Prato and Teatro La Pergola.

New this month: we are invited into interior designer Erin Quinlan Quiros’s Tusc-Mex home in the Florentine hills as Erin joins forces with The Florentine to develop a lifestyle column.

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Weight 120 g

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