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Panzano stroll, wine-tasting and meaty feast

  • Panzano stroll, wine-tasting and meaty feast

    Panzano is the place to indulge in a passion for Tuscan meat, including Florentine T-bone steak. On the food front, this Tuscan bastion belongs to Dario Cecchini, a cleverly eccentric celebrity butcher with a mini empire in these parts. No one can wield a bloody meat cleaver better, still less while reciting Dante. Part butcher, part showman, Dario keeps his audience entertained as well as over-fed.

    Work up an appetite by strolling along the walls and admiring the Chianti countryside. Restaurants lining the walls offer views of the Chianti hills and vineyards. 

    The café-lined main square is the place for lapping up the small-town atmosphere and contemplating lunch. With several restaurants in town, all clustered round his famous butcher’s, Cecchini is still doing a brisk trade. The restaurants are fairly priced so there’s no sense of being caught in a tourist trap. The winning format appeals to most visitors, as does the conviviality and showbiz side. T-bone steak predominates, at least in L’Officina della Bistecca. For any beef-loving Tuscan, bistecca alla fiorentina – a huge, tender T-bone steak, grilled over an open fire and seasoned with nothing more than crushed peppercorns, salt, and a hint of garlic and olive oil, served very rare – is the ultimate steak. Bear in mind that all is not bleak for vegetarians: there are strong meat-free menus for those of a more squeamish disposition. Basic wine is included in the price but you can also bring your own.

    After lunch, work off the calories by walking upto the Pieve di San Leonino, Panzano’s loveliest church, set on a hilltop just outside Panzano. Inside the Romanesque pieve are precious artworks, including della Robbia terracotta tabernacles and a medieval triptych of the Virgin and Child.

    Address: Via XX Luglio, 11, 50022 Panzano In Chianti FI
    Tel: 055 852020
    Web: www.dariocecchini.com

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