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What's important: you can compare and book not only Prato hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Prato. If you're going to Prato save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Prato online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Prato, and rent a car in Prato right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Prato related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.
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How to Book a Hotel in Prato
In order to book an accommodation in Prato enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Prato hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Prato map to estimate the distance from the main Prato attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Prato hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Prato is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Prato is waiting for you!
Hotels of Prato
A hotel in Prato is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Prato hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Prato are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Prato hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Prato hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Prato have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Prato
An upscale full service hotel facility in Prato that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Prato hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Prato
Full service Prato hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Prato
Boutique hotels of Prato are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Prato boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Prato may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Prato
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Prato travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Prato focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Prato
Small to medium-sized Prato hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Prato traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Prato hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Prato
A bed and breakfast in Prato is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Prato bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Prato B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Prato
Prato hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Prato hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Prato
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Prato hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Prato lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Prato
Prato timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Prato often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Prato on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Prato
A Prato motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Prato for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Prato motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Statue of Francesco Datini in front of the Palazzo Pretorio.
Prato (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpraːto] ( listen)) is a city and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. The city is at the foot of Monte Retaia, elevation 768 metres (2,520 ft), the last peak in the Calvana chain. The lowest elevation in the comune is 32 metres (105 ft), near the Cascine di Tavola, and the highest is the peak of Monte Cantagrillo at 818 metres (2,684 ft). The Bisenzio (river), a tributary of the Arno, flows through it.
Historically, Prato's economy has been based on the textile industry. The renowned Datini archives are a significant collection of late medieval documents concerning economic and trade history, produced between 1363 and 1410.
Prato is also a centre of the slow food movement, with many local specialities, including cantucci, a type of biscotti, sold by local speciality bakers.
Since the late 1950s, the city has experienced significant immigration, firstly from southern Italy, then from other nationalities, the most notable being a large Chinese community which first arrived in the late 1980s. With more than 191,000 inhabitants, Prato is Tuscany's second largest city and the third largest in Central Italy, after Rome and Florence.
See also: Timeline of Prato
Prato: Ancient times
Archaeological findings have proved that Prato's surrounding hills were inhabited since Paleolithic times. The plain was later colonized by the Etruscans. In 1998 remains of a previously unknown city from that civilization were discovered in the neighbourhood, at Gonfienti (Prato) near Campi Bisenzio: it was of medium size and it was already a centre for wool and textile industry. According to some scholars, it could be the mythical Camars. The Etruscan city was inhabited until the 5th century BC, when, for undisclosed reasons, it decayed; control of the area was later shifted to the Romans, who had their Via Cassia pass from here, but did not build any settlement.
Prato: Middle Ages
In the early Middle Ages, the Byzantine and Lombard dominations prevailed in the region.
The history of Prato itself begins from the 10th century, when two distinct villages, Borgo al Cornio and Castrum Prati (Prato's Castle), are known. In the following century the two settlements were united under the lords of the castle, the Alberti family, who received the imperial title of Counts of Prato. In the same period the plain was dried and a hydraulic system regulating and exploiting the waters of the Bisenzio River was created to feed the gualchierae (pre-industrial textile machines).
After a siege in 1107 by the troops of Matilde of Canossa, the Alberti retreated to their family fortresses in the Bisenzio Valley: Prato could therefore develop as a free commune. Within two centuries it reached 15,000 inhabitants, spurred in by the flourishing textile industry and by the presence of the Holy Belt relic. Two new lines of walls had to be built in the mid-12th century, and in the early 14th century.
In 1326, in order to counter the expansionism of Republic of Florence, Prato submitted voluntarily under the seigniory of Robert of Anjou, King of Naples. However, on 23 February 1351 Joanna I of Naples sold the city to the Republic of Florence in exchange for 17,500 golden florins.
Prato's history therefore followed that of Florence in the following centuries.
Prato: Modern age
In 1512, during the War of the Holy League, the city was sacked by Spanish troops assembled by Pope Julius II and the king of Aragón, Ferdinand II, to recover the nearby city of Florence for the Medici family. The severity of the sack of Prato led to the surrender of the Florentine Republic, and to the restoration of the Medici rule. Historians debate the actual number of people killed during the sack, but contemporary chroniclers asserted between 2000 and 6000 people were slaughtered in the streets.
In 1653 Prato obtained the status of city and became seat of a Catholic diocese. The city was embellished in particular during the 18th century.
After the unification of Italy in the 19th century, Prato became a primary industrial centre, especially in the textile sector (Italian historian Emanuele Repetti described it as the "Italian Manchester"), and population grew up to 50,000 in 1901 and to 180,000 in 2001. The town experienced a significant internal immigration. Previously part of the province of Florence, in 1992 Prato became the capital of the eponymous province.
Prato has a humid subtropical climate which has sunny hot summers and cool damp winters. July is the driest month of the year.
Prato: Chinese immigration and its economic impact
Chinese shops in Prato.
The city of Prato has the second largest Chinese immigrant population in Italy (after Milan with Italy's largest Chinatown). Legal Chinese residents in Prato on 31 December 2008 were 9,927. Local authorities estimate the number of Chinese citizens living in Prato to be around 45,000, illegal immigrants included. Most overseas Chinese come from the city of Wenzhou in the province of Zhejiang, some of them having moved from Chinatown in Paris. The first Chinese people came to Prato in the early 1990s. The majority of Chinese work in 3,500 workshops in the garment industry and ready-to-wear. Chinatown is located in the west part of the city, spreading to Porta Pistoiese in the historical centre. The local Chamber of Commerce registered over 3,100 Chinese businesses by September 2008. Most of them are located in an industrial park named Macrolotto di Iolo. Raids on factories employing illegal immigrants in 2010 highlighted problems with the growth of an apparel industry in Prato based on cheap, and sometimes illegal, labor. In spite of all these blames, the local unemployment rate was around 7% in 2013, which was significantly lower than the national average 11%, even after 4,000 enterprises which employed 20,000 people were closed in the past two decades. The president of the Industrial Association of Prato, Andrea Cavicchi, pointed out that the local economic performance was much better than the rest of Italy due to those Chinese textile business.
As of 2009 the Italian and Chinese populations did not socially mix. As of that year there were 30,000 legal Chinese immigrants, and authorities believed there was a similar number of illegal Chinese immigrants.
The dialect from Prato is very similar to that of Florence, but it has its own peculiarities. The pronunciation of the city name in the dialect was traditionally [ˈpraː.o] but now [ˈpraːho] or [ˈpraːθo] are more common.
Prato: Main sights
Prato is home to many museums and other cultural monuments, including the Filippo Lippi frescoes in the Cathedral of Santo Stefano, recently restored. The Cathedral has an external pulpit by Donatello and Michelozzo, built and still used for the display of the cathedral's famous relic of the Virgin Mary, the Girdle of Thomas (Sacra Cintola, a cord belt), which had a great reputation in the late Middle Ages and is often shown in Florentine art. Also of interest is the Teatro Metastasio, the city's main venue for operas and other theatrical productions, which was built in 1829–30.
Prato: Palazzi (Palaces) and Castelli (Castles)
Palazzo Pretorio: The palace was begun in the 13th century in red bricks; late-gothic style additions were in white stone. The external staircase and clock were added in the 16th century and later.
Palazzo Datini: Palace built from 1383 for the merchant Francesco Datini, which was decorated by Florentine artists like Agnolo Gaddi and Niccolò Gerini. In 1409 it housed Pope Alexander V and Louis of Anjou.
Palazzo degli Alberti (13th century) houses a museum with works by Filippo Lippi (Madonna del Ceppo), Giovanni Bellini (Crucifix with Jew Cemetery) and Caravaggio (The Crowning with Thorns).
Castello dell'Imperatore: This is the northernmost castle built by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in Italy.
Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci: This museum and education centre sponsors contemporary art works and exhibitions.
Santa Maria delle Carceri, commissioned by Lorenzo de' Medici to Giuliano da Sangallo in 1484. It is on a Greek cross plan, inspired by Brunelleschi's Pazzi Chapel. Works lasted for some twenty years. The interior is run by a bichromatic maiolica frieze by Luca della Robbia, also author of four tondos depicting the four Evangelists in the cupola. The external façade is unfinished, only the western part being completed in the 19th century according to Sangallo's design.
Sant'Agostino, built from 1440 over an existing edifice from 1271. It has a simple façade with a rose window and a bell tower with pyramidal top. The interior is on the basilica plan, with a nave and two aisles divided by brickwork columns having "waterleave" capitals (c. 1410). The apse chapels date to the late 14th century. The interior is home to canvasses by Giovanni Battista Naldini, Lorenzo Lippi, l'Empoli, Giovanni Bizzelli and others, as well as 14th-century frescoes. The cloister dates to the 16th century.
San Domenico (begun in 1281), with a portal from 1310.
San Francesco (1281–1331). It houses a funerary monument of Geminiano Inghirami (died 1460), and the frescoes by Niccolò Gerini in the wonderful Cappella Migliorati.
The Migliorati Chapel (or Sala del Capitolo) at the monumental church of San Francesco (Prato)
San Fabiano, already existing in 1082. It houses precious traces of a pavement mosaic dating from the 9th-11th centuries. Also notable is the 15th-century bell tower.
Minor Basilica of Santi Vicenzo e Caterina de' Ricci, adjacent to the late-Baroque monastery of San Vicenzo. The church was decorated for the canonization of the Saint Catherine of Ricci, who was associated with the monastery and is buried in the church.
Santa Maria della Pietà, built in 1617–19. It houses a canvas by Mario Balassi (1638) and a 14th-century fresco of the Madonna with Child, with alleged miraculous powers.
Rugby Club I Cavalieri Prato
Higher-education institutions include Il Polo Universitario "Città di Prato" (a branch of the Università degli Studi di Firenze) and the Monash University Centre which is located in the Palazzo Vai. The University of New Haven opened a satellite campus in Prato in 2012.
Prato: Notable citizens
Roberto Benigni, actor and director
Paolo Rossi, soccer player
Jury Chechi, gymnast, olympic gold medalist
Francesco Datini, 14th-century merchant
Enrico Coveri, fashion designer and entrepreneur
Domenico Zipoli, composer
Curzio Malaparte, writer
Nicolo Albertini, 13th-century cardinal
Francesco Nuti, actor
Filippo Mazzei, politician
Fiorenzo Magni, cyclist
Clara Calamai, actress
Filippino Lippi, 15th-century painter
Lorenzo Bartolini, sculptor
Sem Benelli, writer
Christian Vieri, soccer player
Francesca Bertini, actress
Antonio Brunelli, composer
Ignazio Fresu, sculptor
Alessandro Diamanti, soccer player
Pamela Villoresi, actress
Iva Pacetti, liric singer(soprano)
Emilia Goggi, opera singer
Rachele Risaliti, Miss Italia 2016
Gianni Vazzoler, World Headbutting Champion
Prato: International relations
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy
Prato is twinned with:
Albemarle County, United States, since 1977
Bir-Lehlu, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic since 1997
Changzhou, China, since 1987
Ebensee, Austria, since 1987
Nam Dinh, Vietnam, since 1975
Roubaix, France, since 1981
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 1995
Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland
Wangen im Allgäu, Germany, since 1988
Prato: See also
The Crowning with Thorns (Prato)
The cathedral museum of Prato, Italy
 Archived March 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
"Prato in cifre: gli stranieri residenti a Prato - suddivisione per cittadinanza" (in Italian). Comune.prato.it. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
"Notizie, informazioni della regione Toscana". Intoscana.it. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
"Ufficio Statistiche e prezzi - Imprese straniere - Imprese per nazionalità forma giuridica e settore" (in Italian). Po.camcom.it. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
"Chinese Remake the ‘Made in Italy’ Fashion Label" article by Rachel Donadio in The New York Times September 12, 2010, accessed September 13, 2010
The Rupp Report: Chinese "Made In Italy" article by Jürg Rupp in "Textile World", December 10, 2013, accessed December 15, 2014