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Prato in 24 hours

The many faces of Prato: art, history, nature, fabrics, flavors, the contemporary one, industrial archeology and multiculturalism. There are many aspects with which you could approach the organization of a 24-hour tour around the city.
We try to draw up a "must to visit" if you will spend a whole day in our city. Let's start by taking a walk through the historic center: Piazza Duomo with the marble St. Stephen's Cathedral in white and green stripes. Without going inside you can admire the pulpit by Donatello and Michelozzo. Inside there is the relic of the Sacred Belt of Maria and it is possible to look at the frescoes by Filippo Lippi.

We head towards Piazza del Comune, where we can admire the statue dedicated to Francesco Datini, the Bacchino fountain and the imposing Palazzo Pretorio. Proceeding along Via Ricasoli, we pass in front of the symbol of Prato taste: the ancient Mattei biscuits’ shop, with its cantuccini, famous all over the world. The scent can be smelt from the street.

We arrive in Piazza delle Carceri passing by San Francesco square and we find ourselves in the middle of one of the most beautiful locations in the center of Prato: on one side the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Carceri, on the other the Emperor's Castle, built by order of the Emperor Frederick II of Swabia in 1200, during the struggle for dominance in Tuscany: look out in the inner courtyard and go upstairs on the walls.
Along Via Mazzini we find ourselves in Piazza San Marco, where it is possible to admire another symbol of Prato: "Squared shape with a cut" by Henry Moore, made of white Apuane marble. Then go on through via San Silvestro until you get to Piazza Mercatale, one of the longest squares in Europe by extension, full of restaurants, pubs, clubs where to spend the night.

Square form with Cut

After this walk, some hunger will surely come. We can sit down for lunch choosing between two simbols of Prato restaurants: Baghino in Via dell'Accademia or Soldano in Piazza Duomo. The two places where you can taste many Prato delicacies.
We dedicate the afternoon to one of the main museums in Prato: Palazzo Pretorio or Centro Pecci? In the museum in Piazza del Comune it is possible to admire masterpieces by artists such as Donatello, Filippo and Filippino Lippi, Bernardo Daddi and Giovanni da Milano, Alessandro Allori, Santi di Tito, Lorenzo Bartolini. For contemporary art lovers, instead, the Pecci Center: this is the first Italian institution built ex novo dedicated to art, cinema, music, performance and design.
Snack at the Nuovo Mondo pastry shop in via Garibaldi, a pastry shop renowned throughout Italy, for its Peaches. If you want to make some purchases with local products, in Via Ricasoli you will find the "Atipico" shop, with all local typical products.

For the rest of the afternoon, here are a few ideas. Visit a smaller museum, such as the Textile Museum or the Cathedral Museum, or have a walk in the Macrolotto Zero area between via Pistoiese and via Filzi, in one of the largest chinatowns in Europe, perhaps stopping to eat in some Chinese restaurant . If you are interested in the recovery of the old factories where once you worked with looms, do not miss the Campolmi complex and the Lazzerini Library or the court in Via Genova at number 17, where many cultural associations have redeveloped the area, like in the big European cities.
In the night, get lost in the small streets of the center, full of little cafes with tables outside where you can dine or drink something.

Video - Prato enchants you at every step