Prato is the second city of Tuscany and has experienced, in the last century, a strong expansion mainly due to the textile manufacturing industry.
However, there are many important testimonies of the city, already in antiquity.
The Castle of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia dates back to 1200
The construction of the Cassero dates back to the mid-14th century. It was a fortified walkway, formerly called “corridor”, which connected the walls near the Fiorentina gate with the interior of the Emperor’s Castle.
The restoration, which was completed in 2000, made it possible to recover two sections of the old structure by restoring a pedestrian path that starts from via Pomeria and flows along viale Piave, not far from the Castle. The space is open for temporary art exhibitions.
Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Giglio
Next to our structure there is the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Giglio; originally the oratory of San Silvestro, it was renovated and transformed into a Sanctuary, acquiring its current name, between 1672 and 1680, following the miraculous event that took place around an image of the Virgin frescoed on the external wall of the church when a dry lily placed in front of the painting blossomed prodigiously.
Cathedral of Santo Stefano
The Cathedral of Santo Stefano, stands in Piazza del Duomo and is a splendid example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture where the use of two colors is evident: light Alberese and green marble (serpentine), typical materials of Prato architecture up to the 15th century. The current façade, built between 1385 and 1457, was superimposed on the original Romanesque by Guidetto da Como, leaving a gap between the two which, through a staircase and a corridor above the portal, still allows you to reach today the pulpit of Donatello and Michelozzo (originals preserved in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo which also preserves precious paintings and sculptures dedicated to the Marian cult), used for the ostension of the Sacra Cintola della Madonna, a ceremony that takes place at Christmas, Easter, on May 1st, August 15th and solemnly on September 8th together with the historical cortege.
Palazzo Pretorio Museum
Of considerable importance is the Palazzo Pretorio Museum , which is located inside the palace of the same name, an imposing medieval structure and one of the most beautiful palaces in Central Italy.
Starting from the & nbsp; history of the building & nbsp; which inevitably meets the events of Prato, the arrangement was designed for nuclei and collections that enhance and make unique the municipal artistic heritage .
In an attempt to make the civic collection ever more accessible, paintings and sculptures have been gradually added to the exhibition itinerary, up to now preserved in the deposits , bringing to light pieces of extraordinary value that embellish the rooms of the most important city palace: here the story of the city is revealed through the faces of historical figures and artists, in an itinerary made up of sometimes unexpected intertwining and ties.
The Textile Museum , the Casa Datini Museum and the Galleria degli Alberti are also noteworthy and full of history of the city. , which make the visitor understand the importance of the city of Prato over the centuries.
Coming to the present day, we cannot fail to mention the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art, the path of the old factories, the planetary science museum and others for which we refer to dedicated site to tourism of Prato’s Municipality