On A Castle in Prato

Words by Julia Fullard


To Prato, castles, and most importantly, home. 

28 June 2023

There’s a castle in the centre of this city,

A mediaeval castle

And the tour guide said that it no longer holds ancient ruins inside of it

Today, it’s an open-air cinema

Playing films all summer, she says

A screen against its grey stone walls –

Walls that can be climbed by narrow staircase

Worn by memories past,

Awash with those just made, present-day

Isn’t it nice that old things can be made new again?

Emptied of tired, broken parts


And yet still historic


29 June 2023

I like mediaeval castles made of grey stone

Like the one in the middle of the piazza

I like their spiral staircases and

The view from the top:

Pastel orange houses against

Green hills, made blue by distant cloud

I like flowers, flaming pink, for 25 euros

And cheap bottles of red wine split between three

I like gelati twice a day: in the noon heat and evening breeze, 

Espressos in small tangerine glasses and

Pastries filled with lemon custard, ordered in a 

Broken, glared at Italian

And so, I really do like Prato

Yet still, I miss Melbourne

Still, home

Julia Fullard

The author Julia Fullard

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