|recently restored facade of the Macelleria Cecchini Panzano in Chianti|
Dario is famous for his wild ways and theatrical behavior. When he painted the outside of the butcher shop his signature red and white, people thought that it was another one of his attention grabbing moves.
What people don't realize, is that Dario does research constantly to preserve antique traditions in todays fast-moving world. In the 1800's the decorative style for important buildings was with stripes and geometrical designs. There are very few left in all of Tuscany. It is rare anymore to find buildings in Chianti with this striped decoration, but as you head towards Lucca and the coast, you will see that they have preserved this decoration style. Much of Florence and Chianti was destroyed and rebuilt after the second World War and simple was the new style.
Time stops once you walk into the shop. Don't be in a rush. Accept the glass of wine that is offered to you and sit back and enjoy the show. SHOW? Isn't this a butcher shop?
|inside the shop art and meat side-by-side|
More than a butcher shop, you are stepping into a lesson in life. Taking time to shop, interact with fellow shoppers, learn new recipes or ways to prepare meat. At the butchers in small towns, you learn more than about meat. You meet new people and learn about the village you are in.
It is not only Dario's butcher shop that is like this. It is a way of life in Italy. It to risks vanishing away as did the decorative stripes on buildings. Italy is joining the rat race in many ways. My gift to myself is to slow down. Take time to shop. Take the time to talk. Take time to listen and learn.
It is not easy. It is a choice. It means not working all the time, which means making less money and learning to live with less.
My favorite saying is "Less is More". Eating less meat, but better quality. Buying fewer clothes but better quality. You get it!
The other Italian saying which strikes home is- " Si stava meglio quando si stava peggio" We were better off when we were worse off. The older Italians say it all the time. When life was simpler and slower.
Take time so step back into the old ways of doing things. Make some jam. Bake bread. Take time to talk to your butcher. Your life will be richer in a way that money cannot buy!
Thanks Dario for throwing a splash of color back into Chianti!