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Economy + Society

Meet the president of Florence's Chamber of Commerce

TF talks with Leonardo Bassilichi
by Helen Farrell & Giovanni Giusti (issue no. 208/2015 / March 5, 2015)
With Expo 2015 in nearby Milan and myriad other international events, such as the Flora Firenze flower show in May and Pope Francis’ visit in November, this is a year of opportunity for Tuscan businesses. The Florentine spoke with Leonardo Bassilichi, …

Coffee with Louise Holm Ferragamo

by Helen Farrell (issue no. 207/2015 / February 5, 2015)
On a crisp day, The Florentine had the pleasure of chatting with Louise Holm Ferragamo in the discreet ambience of Caffè dell’Oro along lungarno degli Acciaiuoli. As the winter rays streamed in through the windows, Louise explained what brought her to …

Loving the centenarian

The British Institute's director looks towards its second century
by Martin Holman (issue no. 199/2014 / May 8, 2014)
As the Institute approaches its centenary in 2017, The Florentine meets Julia Race, director since last August, to explore the opportunities and challenges of being 100 years young in the era of online learning, virtual travel and widespread cultural tourism.   Martin Holman: …

An interview with Riccardo Maccolini

President of Club Tornabuoni at Palazzo Tornabuoni
by Helen Farrell (issue no. 194/2013 / December 12, 2013)
A feeling of togetherness and tranquillity pervades Palazzo Tornabuoni the moment you step inside off the busy thoroughfare of via degli Strozzi. I spoke with Riccardo Maccolini, who recently became the president of private residence Club Tornabuoni, returning home to Florence …

Meeting Betty Soldi

A Florentine expat comes home
by Alexandra Lawrence (issue no. 194/2013 / December 12, 2013)
Betty Soldi’s mother was sure of one thing: her little girls were not going into the family business of making fireworks. Not just any old family company, the Pirotecnica Soldi had been producing handmade fireworks since 1869, even the display for …
Food + Wine

An interview with Vito Mollica

Michelin-starred chef at the Four Seasons Florence
by Helen Farrell & Sofie Delauw (issue no. 193/2013 / November 21, 2013)
Walking into the sumptuous surroundings of Palazzo della Gherardesca is always a soothing and pleasurable experience, but it is all the more so when one is about to meet the Four Seasons Florence’s Michelin-starred chef, Vito Mollica. Modest in his success …

An interview with Janice Gordon

Exploring the link between art and medicine
by Brenda Dionisi (issue no. 174/2012 / December 13, 2012)
  Is there a connection between art and medicine? New York-based artist Janice Gordon has been exploring the relationship between these two seemingly dissimilar disciplines. In her art (see, Gordon takes the viewer on a border crossing journey into and out of the human body …

Imco Brouwer

Defending human rights in Florence
by Brenda Dionisi (issue no. 171/2012 / October 25, 2012)
Dutch by birth, Florentine by choice, Imco Brouwer had just been named director of the RFK Training Institute in Florence of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights  (RFKC; when TF interviewed him. Although new to the …

Andrea Davis

Building community through the Tuscan American Association
by Brenda Dionisi (issue no. 168/2012 / September 13, 2012)
  Andrea Davis came to Florence in the mid-1980s, a bright, young lawyer from Boston who was looking to take a career break and live the dolce vita in Italy. It was her original intention to stay for a year. Twenty years later, she is …

Italy: Love it or leave it?

A trip around the Boot with Luca and Gustav
by Chiara Martinelli (issue no. 167/2012 / July 12, 2012)
If you have recently questioned the true meaning of the famous expression il bel paese, you should definitely take 75 minutes to watch the documentary Italy: Love It or Leave It? As the title suggests, there is no grey area when it comes to …

Introducing Florens 2012. TF talks to Davide Rampello

by Brenda Dionisi (issue no. 166/2012 / June 21, 2012)
  One of the most exciting events of the year, the International Week of Cultural and Environmental Heritage, organized by the Florens Foundation, returns this year from November 3 to 11. For this second edition, with the theme From the Grand Tour to the Global Tour, …

A pyramid of excellence

Florence's Accademia Italiana celebrates another year of success
by Sponsored Page  (issue no. 162/2012 / April 26, 2012)
One of the leading fashion and design schools in Italy, the Accademia Italiana ( was established in Florence in 1984. Headquartered in the historic Palazzo Temple-Leader facing Palazzo Pitti, it also has a campus in Rome and cooperates with some of the most prestigious universities …

The German 'house for artists' in Florence

An interview with Angelika Stepken
by Martin Holman (issue no. 161/2012 / April 12, 2012)
For more than a century, Villa Romana has been the Florence base for artists visiting from Germany. Often still early in their careers, these artists are recipients of the Villa's annual fellowship, the Premio. From their creative presence comes the atmosphere of experiment, production and …

Shifting perceptions

An interview with Arabella Natalini
by Martin Holman (issue no. 159/2012 / March 15, 2012)
Arabella Natalini has been one of the leading figures in contemporary art in Tuscany for more than 10 years. Part of the team that bid successfully to transform the vacant auditorium on viale Giannotti into the exhibition venue EX3, Natalini started 2012 with her …

Talking bikes with Giampiero Gallo

by Brenda Dionisi (issue no. 158/2012 / March 1, 2012)
A longtime resident in Florence, Giampiero Gallo has a very busy career as professor of economics, which has given him the opportunity to live and work in many different cities across Europe and the United States. Married, with two children, he has lived in …

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