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Tourist Travel Guide to Holidays in Tuscany

Prato

Prato is a city that is located in the flat area north-west of Florence.

Its historical centre is enclosed within the hexagonal shape perimeter walls of the fourteenth century.

It is often known and remembered for its textile industries and firebreaks, but also for being one of the Italian and European cities with the highest density of immigrants of Chinese origin.

Since the middle of the nineteenth century Prato had a great impetus and development of its textile industries and this has contributed to its urban and demographic expansion. But Prato is not only an industrial city, it is also richly in terms of art and culture.

In Prato, there are many interesting things to see, for example Il Castello dell’Imperatore, a massive fortified structure in limestone dating back to the mid twelfth century. The Basilica of Santa Maria delle Carceri, which was erected to honour the appearance of an image of Madonna on the wall of the Carceri delle Stinche (prison) is a fine example of Renaissance architecture, started by Giuliano da Maiano and completed by Giuliano da Sangallo in the intervention of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Inside we can admire a frieze by Andrea della Robbia.

The Cathedral of Prato, an example of Roman-Gothic architecture, has a facade covered with white and green alternating marble bands, here there are some works of Andrea Della Robbia, such as a Madonna, with Child and the Saints Stephen and Lawrence .

Inside there are also beautiful works of Giovanni Pisano, Agnolo Gaddi, Paolo Uccello, Filippo Lippi and Benedetto da Maiano. The bell in its structure is relieved by two and tree mullioned windows.

To make a holiday and stay in Prato, it is possible to find various types of accommodation: a wide range of three and four star hotels offering good quality services; farmhouses in the outskirts of the city and also Bed & Breakfast for a more informal stay.

Staying in Prato can be a good opportunity to visit the art cities of Tuscany: Florence is a few kilometres far, but also Arezzo, Siena, Pistoia and Pisa are very close. The links to the cities of Tuscany are facilitated by excellent communications by road, highways and railway.

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