I had been staying in Bologna for a while as it's the Culinary-Heart-of-Italy. I told the Concierge that I had come to Italy to learn how to eat in the Italian style. I didn't expect to see or do as much in Florence. The museum's had finally worn me down and I am not a good tourist. I don't want to see the sights. I don't want to go where other tourists go. I want to immerse myself in "where ever you go there you are" theory of style of tourism. I cannot find a better way to put it in English.
The train from Bologna to Florence was through farmland that had mile after mile of either corn (somewhat interesting to see from a train window), or cabbage (of no interest whatsoever). I couldn't even rest, so I stared out the window. I must have been for hours and finally departing the train at the Stazione Firenze Santa Maria Novella or Firenze Smn for short. By now I had found a way to the hotel and as I walked towards it I heard the Arno River flowing and found a comforting moment in time. I left my bag at the hotel and returned to the Florence Smn and hopped on the first or second bus I saw. If I remember correctly, the headsign on the bus read: "via Chiantigiana". I understood that it might have something to do with Chianti, but was I ever in for a surprise.
|Stazione Centrale Firenze Smn on right|
As the bus rolled out of downtown Florence, the scenery changed rapidly. Although I thought the bus headed North, it actually went South. Soon I am in hilly country and the street name changed to Chiantigiana. While that word is at most a proper noun in Italiano, for me it meant my Chianti Journey.
|Panzano and the Secret Location in the distance|
|Gallo Nero - Symbol of Chianti D.O.P.|
No Chianti is authentic without this
on the bottle.
A few minutes later, the bus rolled into a small village and my heart jumped when I saw a macelleria (butcher's shop) along Chiantigiana Via. Hanging on hooks in front of the shop where pheasants, ducks and a rabbit, splayed and held open with long branches of Rosemary stalks. I pulled the cord for the next stop and as I departed, the driver remembering me said that this wasn't what I had asked of him back in Florence. I stumbled around with words about whether the bus would come back this way and whether I could return to Florence and with a "yes" from him and some passengers, I hopped off the bus.
|Rey Della Bistecca, Panzano|
Upon returning to the U.S., I forgot all about the Chiantigiani and the shop. For a while I could not even remember the Chiantigiani name. Some years later, I found the Florence Public Bus website and located the Chiantigiani Via, but coudn't find where I had seen this macelleria. But through the growth of the internet and mapping services, I have been able to recall all of the above. And the name of the butcher shop, and when I did much to my wonder, it's the most renowned shop in all of Tuscany. At least for meat.
The shop has a rather plain name of the Antica Macelleria Cecchini. I urge those reading this to follow the link to Dario Cecchini's website. The street address and phone are:
Officina della Bisteca
Via XX Luglio, 11
Greve in Chianti
+39 055 852176
They have a restaurant as well as the butcher shop.
|Inside the Butcher Shop|
|View of the Tuscan Hills and Vineyards|
Dario even 'blogs about beef. Reservations are recommended, even for buying products to take home.