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Prato

Italian comune
NamePrato
Official nameComune di Prato
CountryItaly
RegionTuscany
ProvincePrato (PO)
MayorRoberto Cenni (since June 22, 2009)
Total Area37.4 sq mi (97 km2)
Total Population186710 (31 July 2009)
DemonymPratesi
Elevation213.3 ft (65 m)
Patron saintSt. Stephen
Saint dayDecember 26
Area code0574

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Prato is a city and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. The city is situated at the foot of Monte Retaia (768 m), the last peak in the Calvana chain. The lowest altitude in the comune is 32 m, near the Cascine di Tavola, and the highest is the peak of Monte Cantagrillo (818 m). The River Bisenzio, a tributary of the Arno, flows through it.

Historically, Prato's economy has been based on the textile industry. The renowned archives are a significant collection of late medieval documents concerning economic and trade history, produced between 1363 and 1410. The Museum also reflects this history.

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 180,000 inhabitants, Prato is Tuscany's second largest city and the third largest in Central Italy, after Rome and Florence.


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