Itineraries off the marked roads, goodies for experts, alternative and typological trekking. Tourism is becoming more and more activities to think about, decline and design.
It happens throughout the month of November in Prato, where the program of TIPO (acronym for Turismo Industriale Prato) relaunches the discovery of the local industrial territory and invites you to a historical, social tour and alternative cultural. That of the factories of the most important textile district in Europe, of their archeology, of the economic, human and political history that has formed and evolved the urban fabric from the industrial revolution onwards.
The best way? The trekking of course. To go slowly to the meeting point between past and future, between the textile industry experienced as a manufacturing and worker history and the future of a city that is becoming increasingly sustainable and projected towards the post-industrial transition.
What is industrial tourism?
Going to geographic places, more or less remote, is just one way of understanding the journey.
By distancing ourselves from the modern concept of tourism, which is not good for the planet and perhaps not even for travelers, exploring means above all experiencing a place that is not only geographical, but also human.
Industry is a living part of cultural capital, in constant motion and capable of expressing cutting-edge innovation and production possibilities. In Italy in particular, where the presence of production districts has always been part of the geographical scenario. Traces of centuries-old, if not millenary, stories remain in these territories. Tales of craftsmanship, of transformation and evolution. And this is the story that TIPO intends to tell the visitors of Prato.
Between museums and factories, without forgetting art and architecture
"It is a rare experience of visiting industrial sites evocative and fascinating", explain the TIPO organizers.
"It is precisely the factories that tell the city as a model of entrepreneurship, care for the environment and cultural design. An 'inside and outside' from industrial archeology to the factories in operation, to touch fabrics and their history first-hand".
To the proposed treks ( here the program) in four appointments designed for as many types of visitors, alongside the invitation to visit the museums in the area, which preserve the memory of the intense industrial history of Prato and its textile district.
The Textile Museum , the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art and the Mumat – Museum of textile machinery < / strong> are obligatory stops, together with visits to be carried out independently in the areas of urban and industrial transformation.
Telling the territory means going beyond tourism
Prato is a place of great innovation, like many other Italian and foreign cities with an important industrial history. Where manufacturing culture, research and innovation are produced and developed, society evolves rapidly, is oriented towards development and is sensitive to change.
Design thinking is part of the DNA of the place, a genius loci that is not only an intuitive experience, but has historical reasons to be discovered.
Factories tell stories, says TIPO's pay off. Not only in Prato and not only in Italy: there are hundreds of districts in Europe to be discovered and included in your travel plans. Three hundred sites, from the Ruhr basin to Silesia in Poland. Or real itineraries, such as that of ceramics that touches Limoges, Delft, Faenza, Selb and Höhr-Grenzhausen.
A dense network of commercial and industrial roads collected and commented on by European Route of Industrial Heritage.