51. Route. 281
receiving ttie rosary, by Angelo Bronzino, and St. Sebastian by
R. Ghirlandajo. Adoration of the Magi and Crucifixion with
saints. The Virgin and Thomas Aquinas, by Fra Paolo Pistojese.
The cloisters were decorated with paintings by Sebastiano Veronese
and others, 1596.
S. Francesco al Prato, an Italian Gothic building of 1294,
possesses some good paintings by Bronzino and other masters.
The hall of the chapter is decorated with frescoes of scenes from
the life of St. Francis, attributed by Vasari to Puccio Capanna
8. Maria dell' TJmilth, a few paces beyond the Piazza Cino
(p. 279) to the 1., with a bare facade, was erected in 1494 by
Ventura Vitoni, pupil of Bramante; dome of 1509 by Vasari, in
the Renaissance style, of symmetrical proportions; frescoes and
paintings of the interior by the same master and others.
Among the Palaces may be mentioned Palazzo Panciatichi,
near S. Giovanni Evangelista, and Pal. Cancellieri, recalling by
their names the deadly feuds of the middle ages. The families
of these names, as well as the Rospigliosi, are still in existence
Two Libraries, the Fabbroniana and Fortiguerra, founded by
two cardinals born at Pistoja, contain a number of valuable
works. In the Accademia delle Scienze, the Casa Bracciolini and
Casa Tolommei, several pictures and curiosities are preserved.-—■
The * Villa Puccini, 1 M. to the N. of Pistoja, possesses beau¬
tiful gardens and works of art by Pampaloni etc.
Railway from Pistoja to Bologna see R. 47.
The Line to Florence intersects a rich tract at the base of
the Apennines. Stat. S. Piero. L. the picturesque castle of
Monte Murlo comes into view; near it, July 31st, 1535, the Flo¬
rentine republicans, under Baccio Valori and Filippo Strozzi,
succumbed to the superior power of the Grand Duke Cosmo de'
Medici. The castle, in the style of the 13th cent., is the pro¬
perty of the Counts della Gherardesca, descendants of the ill-
fated LTgolino, whose death in the 'Tower of Hunger' at Pisa
(1284) is depicted in thrilling terms by Dante (Inferno C. 33).
Monte Murlo deserves a visit, which may easily be accomplished
on foot from San Piero, and the walk may advantageously he pro¬
longed to Prato (41/2 M.).
Prato (Posta), a well-built town with 35,000 inhab., on the
Bisenzio, with beautiful environs, is an industrial place, straw-
plait being one of the staple commodities; it also enjoys a high
reputation for the excellence of its bread. It formerly appertained
to Florence, the fortunes of which it shared throughout the whole
of the middle ages. In 1512 the town was taken by storm
by the Spaniards under Cardona. The cathedral with its adjuncts
is the principal point of attraction,