The space is collected and united but also rich and articulated. The medieval structure is home to the ancient commune’s public buildings which harmonize nicely with the 16th century architecture and the airy porticoes. The Piazza del Comune, created at the end of the 13th century at the crossroads of the medieval roads that divided the historic center in neighborhoods, makes up the physical and political center of Prato.
The piazza boasts the Palazzo Comunale and the Palazzo Pretorio. Enlarged in 1408, it underwent further interventions until the 16th century. Originally covered by wooden porticoes, the piazza was used as a meat, oil and grain market, in addition to being a public meeting and event space. In the center of the piazza is a 19th century statue of the famous merchant Francesco di Marco Datini (1335-1410) by Antonio Garella. Also of note is the bronze fountain depicting Bacchino, a baby Bacchus with a stem of grapes. It is a copy of the original by Ferdinando Tacca, now housed in the atrium of Prato’s city hall.