The city famous in Italy and beyond for textile production and for the famous biscotto di Prato
Prato is a city and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. The city lies 17 kilometres north-west of Florence, at the foot of Monte Retaia, elevation 768 metres (2,520 ft), the last peak in the Calvana chain.
Historically, Prato’s economy has been based on the textile industry.
The city boasts important historical and artistic attractions, with a cultural span that started with the Etruscans and then expanded in the Middle Ages and reached its peak with the Renaissance, when artists such as Donatello, Filippo Lippi and Botticelli left their testimonies in the city.
The famous cantucci, a type of biscotti invented in Prato during the Middle Ages, are still produced by local traditional bakers.
On 8 September each year, to pay homage to the Sacra Cintola, on the day of the birth of the Madonna, there is the Corteggio Storico. The costume parade takes place along the streets of the center, in which the armies of the City, the Corpo dei Valletti Comunali and other hundreds of people from different cities of Italy take part. The procession ends in Piazza del Duomo, where there is the most solemn event of the day: the exposition of the relic of the Holy Girdle.
The program of the festival is enriched by various performances that are held throughout the day in various points of the historic center, such as, for example, the performance of flag-wavers, shooting with bows, the medieval market with re-enactments of ancient crafts and traditions, musical performances, fireworks.
The Game of Palla Grossa is back to be played in Prato Piazza Mercatale in September 2012, after almost thirty years of absence. Four districts compete: the Rossi (Santa Trinita), the Gialli (Santo Stefano), the Azzurri (Santa Maria) and the Verdi (San Marco).
Contemporanea festival is an international theater festival that takes place in Prato dal 1999. The event takes place at the end of May and presents important artists of the national and international contemporary theater scene.
Cantucci di Prato
The typical Pratese cuisine, as in general that of the whole Tuscany, uses “poor” products and ingredients, mainly from the territory. The bread, called bozza pratese, is definitely the basic element of the kitchen. In Prato, as in Florence it is customary to use bread to prepare croutons with the livers, panzanella and pappa al pomodoro.