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PRATO AND PROVINCE

interactive map of Prato and its Province

PUBLICATIONS

Pratomese

A Prato February 2018
PDF February 2018 (1938 KB)

Brochures

Prato is
PDF Guide (2860 KB)

Commune of Prato

Comune di Prato - Piazza del Comune, 2 - 59100 Prato - tel. 0574 18361

A visit to the historic centre of Prato is essential, and will certainly not disappoint tourists, who can visit the Castello dell'Imperatore (the Emperor's castle) of Swabian architecture, the only one of its kind in Northern-Central Italy), the Duomo in which is kept the deeply venerated relic of the Virgin Mary's Holy Girdle and where the splendid frescoes of Filippo Lippi, recently restored, can be admired. On the façade of the Duomo can be seen the pulpit by Donatello and Michelozzo (originals now in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo) utilized for the ostention of the Virgin Mary's Holy Girdle (on September 8th, the most important day, the Historic Procession takes place). A visit can go on to include Palazzo Datini, Palazzo Pretorio, Basilica of S. Maria delle Carceri by Giuliano da Sangallo, the churches of S. Francesco and S. Domenico; in these buildings and in the city's museums, Museo di Pittura Murale (Museum of Wall Painting) and Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Cathedral Works) are found paintings by such great masters as Agnolo Gaddi, Paolo Uccello, Filippo and Filippino Lippi, Donatello, Michelozzo and other great 14th century and Renaissance artists.
The 17th century, Neoclassicism and contemporary art are also splendidly represented in prestigious public collections. Not to be missed is the Museo del Tessuto (Textile Museum), a memorial to the city's textile history, where samples and documents dating from the 5th century to our own day are displayed. The building that houses the Museo del Tessuto is a monument of industrial archaeology, the only big nineteenth-century production centre still standing within the city's medieval walls: the "Cimatoria Campolmi Leopoldo e C", a factory symbolic of Prato's manufacturing history, where fabrics in the raw state were finished through various processes (fulling, raising, cutting, calendaring, etc.). The museum, which organizes theme shows, events, conferences and other activities designed to inform the public of the various aspects of textile production, also has an important Educational Section that organizes initiatives addressed to students of all age groups each year. Recently inaugurated is the Museo di Scienze Planetarie, (Museum of Planetary Science) dedicated to educational and informative activities, to scientific research and to conservation of the materials that make up its collections. The museum's objective is that of transmitting to its visitors the most advanced scientific knowledge in such disciplines as astronomy, planetology, geology and mineralogy. Guided visits are provided, but by reservation only. Another note of excellence is represented by the Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea "Luigi Pecci" (Centre of Contemporary Art "Luigi Pecci"). Built to the project of the Florentine Rationalist architect Italo Gamberini, the centre, founded in 1988, is active on the international level with a wide-ranging programme of temporary shows, educational activities, documentation and information, performances and multimedia events. It possesses an important permanent collection composed of works by the major artists of the last 30 years. Outside of the Museum the city is enriched by works of public enjoyment found within the urban context, along the walls and throughout the territory; the most famous of these is Henry Moore's "squared shape with cut" in Piazza San Marco.