Image Gallery

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Humanities Conference 2004

20-23 July 2004


Conference Venue: Monash Centre, Prato, Italy

fifteenth century moat, Prato


History of the Palazzo

The Monash Centre in Prato occupies the first floor of an 18th century palazzo, called Palazzo Vaj, after the Vaj family who were the original owners. Parts of the building are believed to be much older with 15th century frescoes having been discovered on one of the outer walls of the palazzo. The present owners, L'Arte della Lana or 'Wool Guild', purchased the building from the Vaj family in the 1920's. Between 1875 and 1999, the area which has become the Monash Centre was home to a prestigious club of local businessmen. The club was primarily a gaming venue and much of the centre's interior architecture and fittings still reflect this purpose.

The main fit-out was executed in the 1950's by the famous Italian architect, Italo Gamberini, and because of this, the first floor and its fittings are preserved under the Italian heritage laws.

Monash Centre in Prato
Palazzo Vaj, Via Pugliesi 26, 59100 Prato

Information courtesy Monash University Centre, Prato