We lost the American Express office a couple of years back, and now the British Consulate is set to close:
FLORENCE, Italy — It has seen the rise of the Grand Tour and the package tour, the romance of E. M. Forster's "A Room With a View" and the tensions of two world wars. And now, after five centuries, the British Consulate in Florence is closing its doors, a victim of budget cuts and the currents of history.
Once a haven for traveling aristocrats and dreamy Britons escaping the strictures of home for the looser ways of Italy, in recent years the consulate has dealt more with lost passports than lost morals. But it holds a central place in the history of British-Italian relations, and news of its closing has been taken as an affront here.