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Indulge in a meat fest in Panzano

  • Indulge in a meat fest in Panzano

    Panzano, west of Volpaia, is the place to indulge in a passion for Tuscan meat, including Florentine T-bone steak. Panzano is the meaty preserve of 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.

    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 one restaurant. 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 pepper¬corns, 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.
    See our Panzano Eating & Drinking guide for full suggestions.

    To work up an appetite, walk to the Pieve di San Leonino, Panzano’s loveliest church, set on a hilltop just outside the village. Inside the Romanesque pieve are precious artworks, including della Robbia terracotta tabernacles and a medieval triptych of the Virgin and Child.

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