Britain to Close a Consulate With a ViewBreaking News
FLORENCE, Italy — It has seen the rise of the Grand Tour and the package tour, the romance of E. M. Forster’s “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.
The mayor of Florence has expressed regrets, one Florentine aristocrat says she hopes to raise the issue at the royal wedding, and a leading British historian here has questioned Britain’s diplomatic priorities.
As the sun streamed through the windows of his office overlooking the Arno River on a recent morning, David Broomfield, the man who will most likely be the last British consul of Florence, treated the news wistfully. “It’s not like I’m the last governor leaving the old colony with a feather in his hat,” Mr. Broomfield said. “But it’s the end of an important tradition here for 500 years.” There was an English diplomatic presence in Florence as far back as the 1450s....
comments powered by Disqus
- Snopes debunks slavery Internet meme
- Revamped Chinese History Journal Welcomes Hard-Line Writers
- Poll: 3 Out of 5 Texan Trump Supporters Want Secession if Hillary Clinton Is Elected
- The Psychiatric Question: Is It Fair to Analyze Donald Trump From Afar?
- Minorities still feel Eugene, Oregon’s historical link to the Ku Klux Klan
- Ernst Nolte, Historian Whose Views on Hitler Caused an Uproar, Dies at 93
- Japan should give formal apology for wartime aggression, says historian
- Historian Benjamin Madley says what whites did to Indians in the 19th century in California was genocide.
- Kevin Baker says America needs to bring back political machines
- Covell Meyskens uses his blog to show what life was like under Mao. (Interview)