‘I can't believe it; it is the end of an institution,' said Tom Bauch, when he heard the news that Florence's first English-language book store, BM Bookshop, would close its doors on December 31 unless a buyer is found. A resident of San Francisco who, with his wife, spends about one month a year in Florence, Bauch was in the store, arranging to ship books back home, when he heard the news. ‘It's the passing of an era. I've been shopping here with my wife for 20 years. I always stop by when I get a coffee.'
‘I find the same thing is happening to many other retailers and artisans in the area; they're closing shop because of rising rents and other costs,' Bauch added.
This is not true, however, of BM Bookshop, explains co-owner Rossana Amoroso: ‘We are closing for personal reasons, not economic ones. My partner, Cosetta Boni, and I, can't keep up with the long hours anymore, and hiring an employee would be too costly.'