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Latest update: 20 June 2023

A holiday in the Chianti region is not complete without a visit to the butcher’s shop or one of the restaurants of the famous butcher Dario Cecchini. For this, you have to visit Panzano in Chianti, Italy. A small village in Tuscany where you come to eat, drink wine and enjoy the surroundings.

Panzano in Chianti: Italian countryside

Panzano in Chianti consists of the main street with a few shops and restaurants. The road rises steeply and invites you to take the small side streets to discover the beauty of the village. A beautiful view, a full washing line, the church that slowly appears in the mist… Panzano in Chianti is small but cute. Perhaps it offers nothing special for the random passerby, so I invite you to look a little further…

An excellent start to your morning in Panzano in Chianti

In the morning, do as the Italians do: order a coffee and a croissant. Give Sieni (Google Maps location) and La Curva (Google Maps location) a go. Personally, I like the coffee and service better at La Curva. And as always, when you take a seat, you pay a seat fee – a regular practice in Italy. No wonder most Italians prefer to enjoy their cappuccino standing at the bar – not that the seat fee is expensive. It’s just that I’d rather have another coffee. I think it’s a wonderful morning ritual. Especially in a small village like Panzano in Chianti, you’ll notice that the coffee shops are also the meeting spots of the local people.

La Curva Panzano in Chianti

There is a market in Panzano in Chianti every now and then: the whole village joins in. So the tiny central square is transformed into a market area, and no more cars are allowed through. It’s just a few stalls. Nice to see if you happen to be there, but not worth the drive just to visit the market.

Hiking in Panzano in Chianti

In the afternoon you can take a car ride or go for a walk in the area. I hiked this route. It takes, with some stops, about two hours. You will come across a gate here and there, but you can open it as long as you close it again. You walk through the forest, vineyards, and open nature. It is wonderfully quiet and green. An ideal environment to clear your head and take pictures.

Restaurants and cafes in Panzano in Chianti

You have earned a drink on your return. Of course, there are cafes with outdoor seats in Panzano. Enoteca Baldi (Google Maps location) is on the small square and has a sunny terrace until late afternoon and early evening. The cheese and charcuterie boards are a bit meager compared to other places.

At the intersection of the square is Enoteca Il Cardo (Google Maps location), where you can taste three Chianti Classico wines for €18 and get such a large snack plate that you can skip dinner. Follow the main street to the church at the top of the hill, and there you will also find several restaurants.

Update 2023: It looks like Enoteca Il Cardo may have closed its doors.

Wine tasting in Panzano in Chianti

In Chianti, you should obviously drink Chianti wines. You can definitely do a wine tasting at one of Panzano in Chianti’s cafés. You can actually just knock on the door for a tour or tasting at most of them. Sometimes the listed opening times are pretty confusing though. Or, try one of the wine tours and wine tastings in the Chianti region.

Drinking wine in Panzano in Chianti

The Butcher of Panzano in Chianti: Dario Cecchini

The highlight of Panzano in Chianti is the butcher. Butcher Dario Cecchini is such a special guy that Netflix dedicated a Chef’s Table episode to him. Season 6 shows how this man was more or less forced to take over the butcher shop after his father’s death. The animal lover has a hard time with it, but eventually manages to unite his love for animals with the butcher’s trade. And that suits him well. Dario Cecchini has no fewer than four restaurants in Panzano in Chianti, and all four are fuller than full. Oh, and don’t forget the food truck.

Butcher Dario makes every day a party. In his butcher shop, he plays AC/DC loud while the guests of his restaurants pour themselves another glass of wine. I walk past the crowds in front of the butcher shop and get a glass of wine pushed into my hands. I’m not quite sure if this is right, but who am I to turn down free wine? The Antica Macelleria Cecchini butcher shop is a local meeting spot. I think it has a fantastic atmosphere and now I definitely want to try the restaurants.

Google Maps location

Dario Cecchini Restaurants in Chianti in Panzano

At Accoglienza, you don’t need to make a reservation. You can have lunch at the long communal tables. Also, at Solociccia, you eat at the table with strangers. Here you will be served a set menu, including an endless supply of wine.

At Officina della Bistecca, the menu is based on steak. When Dario himself shows his face, the place bursts into loud cheers and applause. So I can warmly recommend Accoglienza and Solociccia. Next time I will go to Officina della Bistecca for sure. Before my visit to Panzano in Chianti, I had never heard of butcher Dario Cecchini. Now I will never forget him.

Small works of art in Panzano in Chianti

On the wall of the butcher shop and in several other places in Panzano in Chianti, I see small paintings. Mostly simple red and black lines. This turns out to be the work of the local artist, Luca Carfagna. He has a studio in Panzano in Chianti, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find it. You can also regularly spot a small drawing of Luca on traffic signs and poles along the road.

Hotels in Panzano in Chianti

There aren’t really any hotels in Panzano in Chianti. There are mainly agriturismos and apartments, such as La Pensione di Vignamaggio. I’m staying on the main street in an apartment of I Casaloni, a small-scale complex with a swimming pool. Unfortunately, the weather does not allow for a dive. The apartment is spacious and beautifully situated in the hills. The garden is full of flowers, and there are lovely places to sit down and relax. Parking is a little further away, but it is free.

More travel inspiration for Italy

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First published: January 2020. The article has been updated since.

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