Pratonalities

Tom McClean

Stories by the “Creative Curious Travellers 2016” about the city of Prato. Thanks to: Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci | Camera di Commercio di Prato | USE-IT Prato | LeCù | Fonderia Cultart | Biscottificio Antonio Mattei | Cibino Take Away | Gelateria Fior di Sole | Apothéke Cocktail Bar | Dolci Amari | Caffè Vergnano | Camaloon | The GIRA.


PRATO and its people: a series of encounters in collaboration with Made da Franco & USE-IT Prato. Photos and words by Aida Bresolí & Tom McClean. #CCTravellers2016 

Note: after “Pratonalities“, in this post, you’ll find two more galleries titled “Contes de Llum” &Perspectives”. Be curious! 😉  


Pratonalities

Short stories, with portraits and collages, of our encounters with some local artisans and a “cenciaiolo” in Prato. 
 
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Osvaldo and the secret chamber 

We knock the glass and he comes to receive us with a big beardy smile. While he talks to us he is polishing two cherry wooden chairs that once they were cut by hand, I can´t stop staring at him while he talks and it is because he reminds me of someone… of Game of Thrones. Like all magicians he also makes potions, he let us smell his perfumes made entirely with wood. When I couldn’t imagine more surprises coming out of our first visit he tells us that his workshop Pratonalitieswas a convent once, as well as a textile factory and not long ago he discovered that he also has a secret chamber underneath the floor. Looks like we will have to come back to finish the project… 

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Andrea prefers Prato to “Disneyland”

He looks through the window, closes the safe and his little shop, before leaving he takes a look to the last ring he did during the afternoon, mauve precious gems being hugged by a silver ring. He looks out and see us in front of his door, he completely forgot he had visitors, takes off his jacket and opens the curtain. They want to know about his life and how he made it to survive doing what he likes. It hasn’t been easy at all, he remembers the years in Florence, the Disneyland of Tuscany, and how expensive life is there, how annoying people can be, queues, tourists, bright stuff everywhere. In Prato things are just a little easier, cosier, people are beautiful inside, the street he works in has the evening sun and cobblestones. What else can you desire? He is never coming back to Disneyland.

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Roberto and the Bianchi cycling top

Berlin hipsters and myself can go crazy in Roberto’s basement. There, thousands of unique and colourful clothes are hidden in piles of bags ones over the other. But Roberto has them all controlled. He’s a “cenciaiolo” (ragman) as local people say. He spends all his time finding the best vintage of the whole world and he show us the best pieces of his collection, the ones that are not for sell. They are hanging from the ceiling like they were drying up after the laundry but they are just there to make Roberto smile every morning. They are his treasures; wedding dresses from the 30s and a bright blue Bianchi top bright up our faces. And then we see a big bag totally sealed at the end of the store. Roberto points to it and says that he never opened it, he brought it from America and who knows what’s inside. I can’t wait to open this bag. I can’t stop thinking of anything else. I will be back in Barcelona thinking of this bag.

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Stefano says Prato is ganza!

He’s an explorer of Prato and of the world. He travelled everywhere and then decided to stay in this city and to open here his own antiquaries shop. After working many years in fashion he got tired of the superficial world and decided to take care of surfaces. He keeps applying wax to the bedside table while he talks wit us and the little table keeps demanding more, just like us. Every corner is organised in an exquisite mix of vintage. colours, textures and 60’s, it seems it’s ready for a high society party. You have to be bold and have a sixth sense to make this things work together, but of course he worked in each one of them to make them bright again and befriend with his other creations.

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Contes de Llum

by photographer Aida Bresolí 
Contes de Llum in Catalan means “Light Tales”. Prato gave me the opportunity to catch beautiful moments playing with lights and shadows.
 

Perspectives  

by photographer Tom McClean
A wider view of our meeting with the artisans and details of the magic city of Prato.
 

Discover more local artisans with Made da Franco and local tips with USE-IT Prato. But who is Franco? Read this other story: “Franco and other artisans of Prato

Aida Bresolí & Tom McClean