Places in Prato:
Rediscovered places

From orphanage to cultural center

Magnolfi Nuovo

From orphanage to cultural center

In 2003 on the occasion of a high specialization theatre course, during the meeting between Metastasio Theater Teatro Stabile of Tuscany, the "Academy of Dramatic Arts Silvio d'Amico" in Rome and the Municipality of Prato has taken shape the project to give birth in Prato, inside the disused building of the former orphanage Magnolfi, to a training, production and research Cultural Center, which - starting from the experiences gained on the territory - would operate in a wider territorial dimension as a real "workshop" able to produce significant educational and productive experiences and to offer new opportunities to young talents.

Originally the former Magnolfi institute was a convent of Carmelite friars; Gaetano Magnolfi in 1838 opened a "technological orphanage", equipped with laboratories and classrooms, which formed many skilled craftsmen (carpenters, blacksmiths, tailors, weavers, printers). The project, extremely innovative for that time, gave the opportunity to the kids to be able to maintain themselves and work after leaving the institute. To the original structure were added in following years classrooms, laboratories, an entire floor of rooms and, in 1871, a small theater.

The peculiar structure of the old building where historically coexisted spaces suited to the education (classrooms and laboratories), to the hospitality and a theater have made it an ideal place to host a center of cultural production. The renovation has enabled to recover functionally the building respecting its original historical and architectural significance, but making it extremely functional to the new destination.
The New Magnolfi now houses a theater for 98 spectators, a multipurpose room for conferences and seminars, an educational wing with three classrooms and a computer room equipped with 13 workstations and tools for video projection, an always open café, a dining room where you can taste typical dishes and a hostel with 22 rooms.