Our history

Our centre was officially openGrollo plateed on 17 September 2001 in Palazzo Vaj in the heart of Prato's historical centre. We secured this heritage-listed location with support from the Region of Tuscany and the local government of Prato, and with the generous assistance of Rino and Diana Grollo. You can read a short history of Palazzo Vaj and our garden on our facilities webpages.

The late Emeritus Professor Bill Kent, a world authority on the Italian Renaissance, was the centre’s founding director. The centre’s continued presence in Europe is testimony to his vision and the efforts of him and other Monash staff. You can find out more about Professor Kent’s legacy on our Bill Kent Foundation Fund page.


Visit the Monash Prato: Our living history interactive digital timeline to learn more about our history.

You can read more about our early history in the book A Site of Convergence: Celebrating 10 years of the Monash University Prato Centre, a collaboration between writer and editor Cynthia Troup and the late Jo-Anne Duggan, our centre’s first artist-in-residence, published by Monash University Publishing.