Cross the Mercatale Bridge heading away from the city walls to get to the neighborhood of the Pieta. We are in a residential neighborhood characteristic of Prato, in which the wool factories and buildings give way to elegant villas, blending into a countryside planted with vines and olive trees, which invites you outdoors, particularly in spring. This neighborhood was developed in the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, adopting the fashions and trends of an architectural era in which the neo-Renaissance, eclectic and Art Nouveau styles were popular. The most interesting buildings in this district between the Bisenzio River, Via Levico and the first slopes of Calvana are located on Via Matteotti, where you'll find Villa Lemmi and vILLA Guarducci which summarize the fashions and styles that raged in the first half of the twentieth century. The first is characterized by an angular tower and windows which are suggestive of contemporary development along the Tuscan coast, especially in Viareggio. The second, built in the twenties, was inspired by the canons of the Neo-medieval style, recovering solutions such as arched windows, turret and sgraffito decoration, which make it one of the most emblematic buildings of the whole of Prato.
Moving onto the nearby Via Buozzi, you'll find the pretty Banchini Villa, built in 1927, designed by the Florentine architect Paolo Emilio André, son of Gino Coppedé, which mixes different styles, blending classical and contemporary solutions, much appreciated by the rich bourgeoisie of the time.
Along the Bisenzio, in Via Amendola, lies Villa Clara, characterized by the striking Art Deco-style decor, while the cottage Bacci, always in the usual way, is inspired by neo-Gothic architecture, which refer to the ancient building of medieval Tuscany.
Near the railway station stands Villa Valaperti, which has a classical facade with rusticated edges and double- and triple-windows.
The walk between the villas on the slopes of Calvana can be continued beyond the Pieta in the direction of the Church of Sant'Anna in Giolica. The development of this area belongs to different periods than those of the Pieta. Heading along Via XIV May, near the Murato estate - now almost entirely occupied by villas and residential buildings – you'll arrive at the fifteenth century Villa Salvi Cristiani. Already owned by the Signe, this large building was later bought by Boninsegni and Go, and finally in the nineteenth century by Salvi Cristiani. The villa is surrounded by green olive trees and has an elongated L-plan with a facade characterized by rectangle windows, the result of renovations. Among other villas in the area of Giolica are the Villa XX Settembre, built by Adriano Zarini; Villa di Mezzo Poggio, which conserves the original core of an ancient watchtower; and the famous Villa Cupolin d'Oro in Giolica Via di Sotto which, like many other villas in the area, suffered severe damage during the bombing of the Second World War.