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town, in the Toscana (Tuscany) regione of north-central Italy. It lies along the Bisenzio River, 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Florence. Prato, of uncertain origin, became a free commune in the 11th century and prospered as a centre of commerce and wool manufacture. Later drawn into the orbit of Florence, it declined in importance after its final subjection by that city in 1350. It was sacked by the Spanish army in 1512 during the campaign to restore the Medici family.