Blah blah blah Italians are old.
Blah blah blah Italians are sick.
Blah blah blah Italians have dirty air.
Blah blah blah Italians are bad at numbers.
Prato, the historical capital of Italy’s textile business, has attracted the largest concentration of Chinese-run industry in Europe within less than 20 years.
As many as 50,000 Chinese live and work in the area, making clothes bearing the prized “Made in Italy” label which sets them apart from garments produced in China itself, even at the lower end of the fashion business.
In some ways, the Chinese community of Prato has succeeded where Italian companies have failed. Italy’s economy has barely grown over the past decade and is only just emerging from recession, partly due to the inability of many small manufacturers to keep up with global competition.
And then there’s the fact that their hospitals are so overwhelmed that the elderly are turned away.