Prato City. I love the charm of its intimate historic center, dominated by the Emperor’s Castle with its green and white Carrara marble exterior, and the austere elegance of Palazzo Pretorio. The outskirts are a lively play of opposites: the green hills on one side and the contemporary architecture of the New Pecci Center on the other, at the end of the main road leading to the highway. Prato is also one of Europe’s capitals of textile manufacturing, Italy’s second most important city for the production of clothing textiles and yarns. The finest fabrics used by fashion designers all over the world are designed and produced by Prato’s textile companies. Of course, because of my personal shopper and image consultant job, but also because I really enjoy it, I love shopping in Prato and here are a few tips to welcome you into my world, starting with the Prato city.
Just outside of the city’s historic center is one of my favorite shops: Babylon Bus, Womenswear, Menswear, Home and Childrenswear. Every year the owners, Gianni and his wife Betty, provide their customers with a brilliant and inventive look at fashion and style in the various areas. Located close to Viale della Repubblica, in the Pecci Center area, are Marty and Pedini Viale della Repubblica. The former is the temple of Japanese and French designers and a few brilliant Italian names. Stefania, the mind and soul behind the store, guides you with her very personal, conceptual and elegant style. Pedini offers both menswear and womenswear: Fabrizio, the owner, has created a sparkling Paris or Saint Tropez-like atmosphere… just surrender to the easy and sexy style of his collection. Clothing for him and her at Piccioli abbigliamento on via Machiavelli: two shops on the same street, offering both classic and fashionable pieces.
Trendy but budget-friendly
Downtown you will find some less expensive but very interesting shops: Beady ‘s accessories, near Piazza San Francesco; little-known Spanish and French womenswear labels at D-Fly; but also some super trendy pieces at Rose Noir (a little outside of the city center but worth the trip) and Willy Wear’s stylish collections.
Don’t forget accessories!
If you’re looking for a super-sophisticated touch, head straight to Corsi: shoes by Gucci, Valentino, Shie Miara, Dolce e Gabbana… For sneakers and much more Puggelli, on Viale Piave. For a more daring but stylish look, Piumi, with two stores, one downtown just steps away from Piazza del Comune and the other on Viale della Repubblica. And last but not least, the super-feminine shoes by Diva Shoes, on Viale Montegrappa.
Located on Via del Serraglio, downtown Prato, is Profumeria Risaliti, the go-to shop when it comes to beauty products: the best facial cream and serum brands, the latest in make-up and niche perfumes. Alessandra, the owner, and her staff will be pleased to help you out. I will let you in on a secret that very few people know: an excellent tailor’s shop, in no way inferior to the best Neapolitan-school tailoring, is located downtown. My family and I are regular customers and I would love to introduce you. If you’re looking for a dressmaker with a French touch, Paola Bellandi, near Via Roma. Only by appointment and only in summertime. For contemporary-style jewelry that will not go out of fashion in a season, there is one name only, Ivy. Vanessa and Paolo will be able to advise and guide you and create whatever you want for your loved one.
Ph: Marco Cavicchio