Dedicate the second day of your trip to exploring Prato’s countryside, bursting with treasures unique to this region. Head to the UNESCO Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent and designed by Giuliano da Sangallo. This masterpiece houses remarkable decorations and frescoes by Filippino Lippi, Andrea del Sarto and the most famous work of the mannerist painter Jacopo Pontormo, the allegory of Vertumnus and Pomona.
The Medici Villa la Ferdinanda in Artimino (in Carmignano) is another spectacular villa tied to the one of the most famous architects in history, Bernando Buontalenti, who executed the project for Grand Duke Ferdinand I. The villa is also known as Villa dei Cento Camini (Villa of 100 Chimneys– there are actually far fewer) because of its amusing number of fireplaces that the Grand Duke built to avoid freezing during his winter hunting trips, each one built with a different shape.
The Carmignano region is also famous for its traditional food and wine: follow the Strada dei Vini di Carmignano e dei Sapori tipici pratesi (Carmignano wine and Prato ingredients road) to discover the local delicacies. Try the cantuccini di Prato, famous almond cookies, the renowned dried figs and the amaretti biscuits, all paired with fine wine such as the Carmignano DOCG or the Barco Reale DOC.
Weather permitting, a picnic is the perfect ending to your day: bozza pratese, traditional unsalted bread, paired with mortadella di Prato, a meat with a unique pinkish color from the addition of a Tuscan liqueur, alchermes, are the perfect countryside snacks to end your day.