TIPO - Industrial Tourism in Prato

History matters and interest people from all over. Therefore, the new tourist product of the Prato area is its textile manufacturing buildings and their histories. With the slogan “Factories tell stories”, Prato aims to attract national and international tourism to the still operating industries.

In the true spirit of ACTE, the TIPO project builds on the tradition and inheritance of the local textile industry. TIPO aims at letting the manufacturing sites “talk”, to inspire tourism, and to take a place in modern society. All to show how the textile industry has evolved into a natural part of the everyday life. As industrial tourism at its best, with TIPO visitors can at weekends see, experience, and get insights of the living history of the local textile and fashion industries. But also see textile shows and participate in activities for families.

“Factories tell stories”
In Italian Prato there are several resources for modern tourism. Often suitable for visitors who look for the quality and authentic experience not always associated with mass tourism.

With TIPO, the Prato area aims to enhance the soul of the local history. A big part of the Prato soul lays within textile manufacturing – as the economic and cultural engine. Its history, industrial sites, and the obvious connection to the development of the territory is a resource. It’s a living history as the Prato industries of today are international leaders in their segments. Modern com-panies, with up-to-date productions, adapted to today’s demands for sustainable, environmen-tally safe processes.

Modelling industrial tourism
The TIPO project has the aim of becoming a reference model for industrial tourism in Tuscany and looks to the successful experiences of other Italian and European industrial districts.

TIPO is promoted by the Municipality of Prato, the Textile Museum, the CDSE Foundation – Centre for Historic Etnographic Documentation, Municipalities of Cantagallo, Carmignano, Poggio a Caiano, Montemurlo, Vaiano, Vernio and in collaboration with ACTE, Visit Tuscany, Prato Turis-mo.

The TIPO project is held in the winter months, from September through April. It includes a training programme for the guides and a total some 20+ events, including guided visits, evening shows and family activities. It has a potential for great success, as there has been a great response for it from the public. For example, the web page has been visited more than 10.000 times in 2021 and at the Prato Tourismo Facebook page had 3.000 followers in 2021.