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Poggio a Caiano, Prato

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Poggio a CaianoPoggio a Caiano is located between the Ombrone river and the slopes of Montalbano in the center of the Florence-Prato-Pistoia valley.
The name of the town comes from "poggio", meaning hill; indeed from this location, there is a fine view of Prato and Florence, as well as of the valley that extends to Pistoia and the Apennine mountains. Thus it was not by chance that Lorenzo the Magnificent chose this strategic site for his Villa, which dominates the town even today. The history of Poggio a Caiano and its cultural and folkloristic events are closely tied to the Villa Medicea.

Main Events

- The Colline Festival is held annually in June and July; since 1990 it has expanded to include the whole territory around Prato, involving important cultural institutions in its programme. This performance series was started by the Town of Poggio a Caiano but, in recent years, it has received the collaboration of the Province of Prato, the Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Center, and the Towns of Prato and Carmignano. In recent years the festival has presented some of the best examples of experimental contemporary music, placing special emphasis on the ethnic roots of Global Music. Reaching beyond the divisions that have always separated the various genres of music, the festival has brought together a variety of experiences representative of the contemporary scene.
The success with which the listening public and critics have received the event has earned it a place of honor in the panorama of European festivals of contemporary music. Among the musicians who have participated in the most recent editions of the Festival delle Colline: Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, John Cale, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Voices of Bulgaria, Urban Dance Squad, Caetano Veloso, Jan Garbarek, Franco Battiato, Diamanda Galas, Sonic Youth, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Ali Farka Toure, Ivo Papasov, Dissidenten, Milton Nascimiento, Maria Joao, Luciano Berio, Miriam Makeba, Carolyn Carlson, Trilok Gurtu, LeRoy Jones, Madredeus, Michael Nyman and others.

- The "Assedio alla Villa", or Siege of the Medici Villa, is a popular festival held in the middle of September. It is a celebration of recent invention although it recalls an event from Renaissance times: on the occasion of Princess Giovanna of Austria's stay in Poggio on December 8, 1565, it was ordered that wine be given free to the townspeople in front of the gates of the Villa. This event was later recalled at the "Mascherone" or mask fountain in the center of town which spouted wine on special occasions, such as the end of the Second World War. Since 1984 this tradition has formed the basis of the September festival. The free distribution of wine is accompanied by various cultural initiatives and by an antiques market held outdoors in the town's streets.




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Museo del tessuto
Church of Santa Maria d...
The Medici Villa
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