Day 19 – Prato

Today I took the train from Orvieto to Prato, changing trains in Florence station Santa Maria Novella, which was a complete nightmare because of the crowds, reinforcing my intention not to go back to Florence.

Prato is a small place, known for centuries for its textile production. Today it’s still one of Italy’s major textile centers, with more than 6500 fabric companies.

I came here to visit the textile museum, but first I needed some lunch and stopped in a bar with a spacious outdoor area blessedly covered with canopies to shield from the hot sun and with a view of the Emperor’s Castle.

There sat an older woman knitting a bag. She was very friendly, saying that she sits and knits outside that bar because she likes the music. I was fascinated by the roller in her lavender striped hair, which she took out with a flare while making some happy comment about her fluffy bangs.

She waved me over to come sit with her and before I knew it, she was telling me of how her husband and son had died, blaming the politicians for poor healthcare. At least, that’s what I could make of her rapid chattering.

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