On March 21, the British Embassy in Rome announced that the British Consulate in Florence, after a presence in the city lasting over half a millennium, will close. Effective on December 31, 2011, British consular services for Northern Italy, including Florence, will be available through the British Consulate General in Milan. Consul David Broomfield spoke to TF about the logistical and historic implications of the closure, and to reflect upon representing Her Majesty's Government in this city for the past two years. After an eminent, whirlwind diplomatic career representing his nation in Africa, the Middle East, South America and Europe, today he looks back fondly on his years crossing the Arno, and looks forward to a possible future in Italy.
Why is the consulate moving to Milan?
This came down to a logistical decision. We've already got a very large consular operation in Milan which covers both trade and consul work. So, when the reviewers came and looked at the services that we offer throughout Italy, they decided that we could base all northern Italy services in Milan.
How many British citizens are currently registered in Tuscany, and how strong is the current British business presence in Florence?