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Prato Map Text

Here you can find the text that accompany the map distributed by the Monash University Prato Centre.

A copy can be requested at the Reception Desk


Contact details

Monash University Prato Centre

Palazzo Vaj

Via Pugliesi 26

59100 Prato (PO)



General enquiries

Ph. +39 0574 43691

Fax +39 0574 436923

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 9am – 5.30pm


USEFUL INFORMATION (informazioni utili)


Prato Tourist Information Centre

Piazza Buonamici 7 - Prato      Ph. +39 0574 24112


Tuscany Angloinfo

Everything you need to know about life in Tuscany - local information in English that you can trust


Taxis (taxi)

Radio taxi Prato    Ph. 0574 5656      Official taxi ranks:

  • Piazza Duomo (beside Salmoiraghi opticians)
  • Piazza Stazione F. S. (Prato central train station)  Ph. 0574 37047

Do not flag taxis down in the street; you must go to a taxi stand where they will be waiting in line.

If you phone for a taxi, they often charge for the time it takes to reach you.

Buses (autobus)

CAP Bus Company provides a local and intercity bus service in the province of Prato. 

There are no ticket machines at bus stops. Some bus services sell tickets on board the bus but the general rule is to purchase tickets beforehand from an edicola (newsagent) or a tabacchi (tobacconist).  Once on the bus, validate the ticket in the validating machine; this is usually at the back of the bus.

For bus routes and times:

Giorni festivi (Sunday), Giorni feriali (weekdays and Saturday), Giorno prefestivi (day before a public holiday)

Train stations (stazioni ferroviarie)

Prato has two train stations near to the city centre:

  • Prato Centrale, the main station, a 15-minute walk
  • Prato Porta al Serraglio is 5 minutes away. This station has no ticket office, only self-service ticket machines


Validating train tickets

If you have a regional train ticket (or any ticket without a specific date, time, and seat assignment), just before you board your train, find the green and white box and insert the end of your ticket. This prints the time and date and makes it valid for the journey.

Before buying a ticket to travel by train in Italy, consult the official website. Change the language setting to English. Class options: Prima Classe (first class), Seconda Classe (second class).

Caution - Theft on trains.

Though not a major issue, theft of luggage on trains does occur. Smaller carry-on bags can be stored overhead but the racks for larger items of luggage are usually near the entrances in each carriage. If travelling on slower regional trains with many stops, each time the train pulls into a station, glance over to your suitcases or go and stand near them.

Tip:  Bring a bike lock and attach the cases to the rack.

Car / minibus hire with driver

(noleggio auto e minibus con conducente)

Nereo De Lazzari   Prato

Ph. +39 335 6754917

Airport / train station transfers with prices comparable to taxis. Half or whole day trips to tourist destinations can be arranged. Speaks English.

Travel Agency (agenzia di viaggio)

Malaparte Viaggi

Via Tacca 7 – Prato           Ph. 0574 433100

Specializing in trains, flights, ferries, accommodation and car hire.

Banks (banca) & Cashpoints / ATM (bancomat)

  • Banca Popolare di Vicenza       Via degli Alberti 2 - Prato                       
  • Unicredit Roma                             Piazza S. Antonino 1 - Pratontonino 1 - Prato  (via S. Bonaventura)
  • MPS                                                  Piazza S. Francesco (via Ricasoli)
  • Banca Intesa                                 Piazza S. Francesco (via Ricasoli)

Tip:  Always use your hand as a shield while entering your PIN to keep it secret.

Bars (bar)

The only time a cappuccino is drunk during a meal, is at breakfast; ask for it at lunchtime and you will be frowned upon.

Many Italians pay for things on a day-to-day basis with cash; if you try to pay a small amount with a credit card, do not be surprised if they refuse.

In some bars, you have to pay for your order first and then take the scontrino (receipt) to the counter, whereas at others, they serve you and let you pay afterwards. Better to observe what the other customers are doing and do likewise. If they offer to let you sit down, it may be wise to decline.  In some bars, it can be very expensive to sit down, especially in cafés and bars in major cities.

Restaurants (ristoranti)

An empty restaurant does not always mean the food is bad and not popular with the locals; it could mean you are early. Most restaurants have specific opening times so you will have to learn to eat when Italians eat – lunchtime is usually 12:30pm and will be over by 2.30pm. Dinner instead, they start eating from 8pm onwards, and that is still early. If you are feeling peckish around 6pm, order an aperitivo at the bar; usually served with nibbles.

Generally, waiters will bring your food and then leave you alone; you will need to attract their attention if you wish to order something else. It’s not rudeness; they are just leaving you in peace to enjoy your meal. This even applies for getting the bill; so when you are ready to leave, ask for Il conto, per favore (the bill, please).

Do not ask for a ‘Doggy Bag’; it is not custom to take leftovers away.

Tap water is never served; restaurants bring bottled water (acqua), which you pay for. Frizzante (fizzy / with gas), naturale or liscia (still water).

Tipping (mancia)

In Italy, you do not need to leave a tip; Italians will only tip for exceptional service. You will find that many restaurants add servizio (service charge) or coperto (cover charge) on to your restaurant bill, sometimes both, and this constitutes a tip.

Shopping (shopping)

When entering a shop, it is custom to say Buongiorno (good morning) or Buonasera (good evening) and Grazie, arrivederci (Thank you, goodbye) when leaving; even if you have not bought anything.

In most cases, especially clothing and shoe shops, you will have an assistant with you at all times; sometimes you will not be allowed to even touch, unless you are trying something on.

Shops generally close during the lunch break, 12:30-4pm. Some shops have a day in the week when they are chiuso (closed), giorno di riposo or riposo settimanale.

Days of the week (giorni della settimana)

Monday - Lunedì / / Tuesday - Martedì / Wednesday – Mercoledì / Thursday – Giovedì / Friday – Venerdì / Saturday – Sabato / Sunday - Domenica

Exchanging goods is very difficult and they do not refund simply because you have changed your mind.

Some coffee bars have a sign with a white “T” outside, this technically stands for tabacchi (tobacconist) but they may also sell bus tickets, stamps, mobile phone top-up cards and other useful items.

When making purchases, whether it be in a shop, bar or restaurant, always ask for a receipt. It acts as a proof of payment, it allows you to take advantage of the mandatory guarantee should the need arise. All receipts for credit card purchases should be kept until the credit card company has charged for the purchase.

All the designer bags and other accessories offered by street vendors are fake. In Italy, it is an offence to buy a counterfeit designer item.


Supermarkets and markets (supermercati & mercati)

  • Market – Viale Galilei. Monday morning open-air market selling fresh fruit, vegetables, clothes, shoes, household items, flowers, etc.

Warning: Beware of pickpockets. 

  • Coop Supermarket  - Viale Vittorio Veneto 2 – Prato

(angolo Piazza San Marco)

Open: Mon-Sat 8am-8pm 

  • PAM Supermarket   Via Francesco Ferrucci 132 - Prato

Open: Mon-Sat 7:30am-8:30pm / Sunday 9am-7pm  

Supermarkets in Italy now charge for each shopping bag you take at the checkout. Always use the plastic gloves and bags provided when buying fresh fruit and vegetable. In open-air markets or smaller shops, the stallholder or shopkeeper will select the fruit and vegetables for you; do not touch.

Gift ideas (idee regalo)

  • aTipico – Shop della Strada dei Vini di Carmignano e dei sapori tipici pratese  (Flavours of Tuscany)

Via Bettino Ricasoli, 13 – Prato

Offers a range of local food and wine products, made using traditional methods, from Prato and the surrounding areas.

  • Textile Museum – Gift ideas

Via Puccetti 3 -  Prato     Ph. +39 0574 611503

The Textile Museum has a well-stocked shop with many gifts ideas to suit all budgets.

  • Antonio Mattei     Prato’s famous biscuit factory

Via Ricasoli 20 Prato    Ph. 0574 25756


Opening times: Tues-Fri 8am-7:30pm / Sat 8am -1pm & 3:30pm-7:30pm / Sun 8am-1pm

Pharmacy / Chemist 24-hour  (farmacia)

  • Piazza Mercatale 147/a – Prato  Ph. 0574 30327
  • Via Cavour 91 – Prato       Ph. 0574 27986

Post Office (ufficio postale)

  • Via Archivescovo Martini 8 - Prato (close to Piazza San Marco)

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8:15am-7pm    Saturday 8:15am-12:15pm

Stationers (cartoleria)

  • Buffetti Punto Contabile  Via Magnolfi Gaetano 39 - Prato

Bicycles (biciclette)

  • Coppini Sport (bicycle hire)

Via Franchi 12 - Prato        Ph. 0574 605152

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-1pm / 4pm-8pm   Sat 9am-1pm

Adapters / Electrical supplies

(adattatori e supporti elettrici)

The closest place to buy international power adapters (adattatore presa elettrico). The voltage in Italy is 220-240v.

  • Ferramente Giacomelli

Piazza Mercatale 67 - Prato        Ph. 0574 24351

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-1pm / 4pm-8pm   Sat 9am-1pm

Public Toilets (bagno publico)

Airports and railway stations have public toilets; other public places may have toilets with an attendant, they generally expect to be tipped.

Toilets in bars and cafes are considered for customers only; order an espresso and only afterward ask to use the toilet.

Tip:  Public Toilets – keep a pack of tissues in your bag; toilet paper is often a rarity.


Queues at post offices, banks, bars, bakery’s, etc. are never straight lines..

A popular alternative in Italy is the take-a-number system: look for the box dispensing numbers and take one. If this is missing, keep a mental list of who has arrived before you; even better, take the courage to shout “chi è l’ultimo?” which means, “who’s last [in the queue]?”

Dress Code (dress code)

When entering a church or holy place, cover your knees, shoulders and wear shoes. Churches are often thought of as tourist attractions, but they are sacred religious places where proper dress codes must be observed. No shorts or flip-flops.

Emergency Telephone Numbers

(numeri d’emergenza)

Emergency services: the numbers to call for Fire, Police and Ambulance

  • Carabinieri                                                                                        112
  • Police (polizia)                                                                                    113
  • Fire brigade (Vigili del fuoco)                                                              115
  • Car Breakdown Assistance (Soccorso Stradali)                                   116
  • Ambulance / Medical Emergencies (Emergenza sanitario)                  118

The Pan-European emergency number 112 can be dialled to reach emergency services - medical, fire and police from anywhere in Europe. This number can be called from any telephone (landline, pay phone or mobile cellular phone).

Calls are free.


For medical emergencies, dial 118 to call an ambulance or go to the nearest 24-hour emergency department - Pronto Soccorso (Accident & Emergency (A&E), Emergency Room (ER) or Casualty)

  • Prato hospital –  Ospedale Santo Stefano

Via Suor Niccolina Infermiera 20 – Prato     Ph. 0574 801111


For non-emergency care in Prato (especially during the weekend, public holidays and weekday nights), contact the Guardia Medica (Emergency Medical Service).

Centro Socio Sanitario "Roberto Giovannini" - padiglione ‘E’,

 Via Cavour 118/120 – Prato      Ph. 0574 38038


Prato is not completely crime-free; pickpockets seem to be active. Please be cautious, in particular in dark isolated places, but also (and perhaps even more so) in highly crowded areas like jammed buses or trains or similar.

Do not hang handbags over the backs of chairs in restaurants or place mobile phones, tablets or laptops on countertops or tables in bars, restaurant and shops. Take extra care with money, travel documents and other important items, as loss or theft of said objects can prove very inconvenient and costly.

When at the Monash Prato Centre, please keep your personal belongings with you at all times.


If you are robbed within Prato, report it to the Carabinieri. You will need to complete a denuncia (police report). Always take a valid form of identification with you.  You will receive a copy of the police report for insurance purposes.

  • Carabinieri Comando Provinciale di Prato

Via P. Picasso, 30 (Mezzana area, near Museo Pecci) - Prato

Ph. Switchboard - 0574 7051

If instead the theft occurred outside of Prato, i.e. on the train, report it to the Questura di Prato.

  • Questura di Prato

Via Migliore di Cino 10 – Prato     Ph. Switchboard - 0574 5555

To get to the Questura di Prato or to the Carabinieri, take a taxi or:

Bus:    Direction Repubblica



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