No Ordinary Chinatown
"The transformation of Prato, just outside Florence, marks a remarkable chapter in European immigration. This city has become the latest gateway for Chinese ambitions.
Like some city neighborhoods, suburbs and small towns across the U.S. where Mexicans and other immigrants gather in search of jobs, Prato is a place where two culturally different communities can live side-by-side and never really know each other.
'In all my travels, I had never seen anything like it,' said Roberto Ye, a son of Chinese immigrants and an Italian citizen who opened a Western Union office in the heart of Prato. 'I said to myself: This is not like being in Chinatown in Chicago or New York or anywhere else. This is like China. White people are the foreigners here.'"