Prato is the capital of the Province of Prato and is a major city in the Tuscany region of central Italy. Throughout the ages, Prato’s major source of economy has been based on the textile industry but it is also a producer of some famous foods such as Cantucci and Biscotti. Various archaeological finds have shown that Prato has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic period and was then colonized by the Etruscans.
During the Middle Ages, Prato had influences from both the Byzantine empire and the Lombard rulers, and the city was first truly developed during the 10th century. With close ties to neighbouring Florence, Prato was involved in the War of the Holy League during the 1500’s, and rose to prominence during the 19th century and the unification of Italy. Today, Prato is a fascinating city to visit and stands in its own right as a tourist destination that is not overshadowed by nearby Florence.
Due to its rich history, Prato features a plethora of interesting structures such as the Emperor’s Castle and the Chiesa di San Francesco. Furthermore, due to its location, Prato is in close proximity to various natural areas of beauty such as the Parco dei Laghi and offers various opportunities for those who love the outdoors and adventure.
Lets explore the best things to do in Prato:
1. Duomo di Prato
Although not as large as some of the other Cathedrals in Italy, the Duomo di Prato is just as impressive and beautiful.
Constructed in the 10th century, this is the oldest church in the city and was complete over a period of several hundred years.
The front facade is still incomplete but features a striped marble design with a large central clock face.
Inside is the real treat and the black and white striped design is continued.
Furthermore, the is a myriad of fine sculptures and colourful frescos that retell various religious scenes such as stories of St. John the Baptist.