The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities
- CLICK THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD A MAP OF THE VENUE, the Monash Centre, Prato (Adobe PDF 143kb)

About Prato


The Monash University Centre in Prato is located thirty minutes by train from central Florence, and fifteen minutes from the Florence international airport. It lies within a region of Italian and international importance for its role in contemporary Europe and for its celebrated Renaissance past. The Monash University Centre in Prato is located in an eighteenth-century building, the Palazzo Vaj, in the historic centre of Prato.

Prato is a small but thriving Tuscan city, with a beautiful historic centre and a vibrant cultural and economic life. Famous for its textile industry, the city has a population of some 180,000 inhabitants, a growing percentage of whom are immigrants from mainland China, the Indian sub-continent, north and west Africa and elsewhere. The communal, provincial and regional governments, progressive in outlook, are active in European community affairs, and have welcomed the presence of an Australian academic institution in the heart of their city.

Prato has a rich historical and artistic patrimony, including a mid 13th century castle built by the Hohenstaufen Emperors, almost perfectly preserved medieval walls which enclose the ancient city centre, a Romanesque cum Gothic cathedral dedicated to San Stefano with an external pulpit by Donatello and Michelozzo, the church of S.Maria delle Carceri by Giuliano San Gallo, and the well preserved Palazzo Datini, the fifteenth century home of the famous 'Merchant of Prato', Francesco Datini.

Pulpit of Donatello

The city is also home to the prestigious Contemporary Art Centre 'Luigi Pecci' and to the highly acclaimed avant-garde theatre 'Metastasio'.

For more detailed information regarding tourist itineraries and museum opening times visit the Prato Tourist Information Bureau.


Street Address of Conference Venue

Monash University Centre in Prato
Palazzo Vaj
Via Pugliesi 26