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Prato Travel Guide, Italy

Prato Travel Guide – Administration and Population

Prato is a city in the wonderful region of Tuscany, Italy, which is known for its incredible landscapes and its historical and artistic legacy. Prato has 182.000 inhabitants and an estimated number of 64.000 families and is the capital of the Province of Prato, formerly part of the Province of Florence. The recent population development made Prato the third largest city in Central Italy, after Florence and Rome. This is mostly due to the large number of immigrants from the South and to the Chinese population that started arriving in the city in the late 1980s. Consequently, Prato is home to the biggest Chinese community in Italy, most of which are even second or third generation inhabitants of the city. The elevation level of the city territory is 65 meters above sea level and it has a surface of 97 sq kilometers.

Prato Travel Guide – The Textile Industry

The specificity of Prato is mostly given by its traditional textile industry. Prato is known all over the world for its old and very valuable manufacturing of textiles and this process begun in the 11th century when the locals turned the city into an important centre for wool production. It later developed and started expanding to all sorts of imported and local fabrics, all of which are well represented in the Textile Museum. It now handles leather production and there are lots of small boutiques with custom made jackets and shoes that are the best value for money. This also supports current families which handle the textile business and there are more than 8.000 companies and 40.000 employees in the industry at the moment.

Prato Travel Guide – Atmosphere and Culture

Prato has many significant cultural monuments dating back to as far as the 13th century and it is also home to the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, an important centre for the study of contemporary arts. The Australian community is very well represented in Prato, as they have the Monash University Centre, the biggest Australian Academic institution in Europe. This provides a close connection with the Australian culture and community it hosts many international English-speaking conferences. Prato is also known for its strong implication in the slow food movement, which militates against the fast food industry and tries to provide a real alternative. This reflects itself in the local bakeries which sell local specialties made by traditional recipes, including the famous cantucci, a particular type of biscuits.

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