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Meadow to discover

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Meadow to discover

Where: Prato
(Prato)
Genre: culture   

A stone's throw from Florence lies Prato, 62 meters above sea level and with 186,000 inhabitants. Since 1992 it has become a province at the head of seven municipalities. True medieval jewel, albeit guilty out of major tourist circuits, Prato is a lively industrial and cultural center with an ancient and fascinating history behind it. Known throughout the world for its centennial textile industry which has its roots in the Middle Ages. Its textile heritage is now celebrated in the modern textile museum which is housed in a monumental building, superbly restored to house it worthily. Do not miss the medieval historic center of the city, which includes the superb Cathedral of Santo Stefano, which houses the Sacred Belt worn by the Virgin Mary, exposed to the public only 5 times a year in the external pulpit made by Donatello. Inside, the cathedral preserves frescoes by two masters of Renaissance art: Filippo Lippi and Paolo Uccello. Another jewel of Prato is the Palazzo Pretorio, from the 13th century, in red bricks, while the part in white stone is from the late Gothic period. Notable Datini palace, built in 1383 by the merchant and banker Francesco Datini, with splendid decorations. The emperor's castle, a mighty building erected by Frederick II, is worth a visit. Finally, don't miss the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art, a museum and educational center that houses one of the most important contemporary art collections in Italy.

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