City of Prato:
Itineraries

From Gonfienti to La Cartaia along the Bisenzio banks

Along the river Bisenzio

From Gonfienti to La Cartaia along the Bisenzio banks

The itinerary to the discovery of an unusual and green city starts from the medieval village of Gonfienti located east of Prato and can be reached either by car or by bus, looking the line on Capautolinee site.

The village is known because in its surroundings in 1997 have come to light the remains of a large Etruscan city. Now the site is only partially excavated, but shows a big domus and other important finds. The site can be visited only during special openings.

From Gonfienti with a pleasant walking route (about three hours) or by bicycle (about an hour and a half) along a bike path, cared for and lit, which winds along the river bank, you can discover a part of the city from an unusual point of view.
Going up the right bank of the Bisenzio you meet the Petrino Bridge recently built (1966), but realized on the ruins of the old bridge on the Bisenzio, probably built by the Roman general Marcus Petreius, called Petrino (110 BC - April 46 BC), skillful engineer who fought against Catiline in Pistoia and defeated him.

Today only a few ruins remain of the old bridge.
Continuing our itinerary we arrive at the Central Station and then with a short section at the old Mercatale Bridge. There are many buildings of architectural interest which overlook this river stretch: the Bastione delle Forche (gallows bastion), the Case Nuove (new houses), the former Casa del Fascio (House of Fascism) and beautiful Liberty villas. Continuing the itinerary you will meet the "Cantiere" (yard), a triangle of densely urbanized area, caught between the railway line to Bologna, Pistoia and Pisa and the river Bisenzio

The name comes from a settlement of shacks originally intended for workmen who worked for the implementation of Direttissima line for Bologna after the war, and that over the years has turned into a real neighborhood. In place of the barracks today there are houses in various shapes and colors, built without any planning, according to the changing needs of life: external stairs that were added, garrets which have become habitable, terraces, recesses, patios, windows of many different styles, all made by combining different and often recycled materials.
Continuing the itinerary you meet a newly built bridge: here, thanks to a protected walkway, you can get to the bike path that winds along the left bank.

Following it to the north you can admire some of the industrial archeology icons of Prato: the former wool mills Lanificio Calamai - on the outer part of it is a mural by the street artist DEM - and Fabbricone which hosts a theater with Vanguard programs, to testify as in this city is an indissoluble link between tradition and contemporaneity.
To the north you can see other examples of industrial archeology as the Pescaia del Cavalciotto in Santa Lucia, Lanificio Sbraci in La Cartaia.