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Going home: COVID sparks Chinese exodus from Italian textile town

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By Silvia Ognibene PRATO, Italy (Reuters) – An unexpected victim of the coronavirus crisis is one of Italy’s largest Chinese communities, now dwindling rapidly after more than 30 years of growth in a small town in Tuscany. The Chinese began to settle in Prato, 11 miles (17 km) north of Florence, around the end of the 1980s, attracted by plentiful work in factories serving Italy’s clothing industry. Mostly from the eastern region of Zhejiang, they created a parallel industry producing low-cost fabrics alongside up-market Italian businesses supplying the country’s fashion houses. The close-knit …

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