Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Said old Realdo Tonti, a poet friend of mine: “Panzano is a very fruitful village, poets and artists flourish here”.
He was right. So many have passed through our Macelleria Cecchini.  Here we’ve met, listened to, and appreciated all of them.

From singers specialized in the Tuscan “eighth rhyme” technique, to the finest speakers, serious poets, rhymers for real and rhymers for fun. We have a box full of poems that arrived by mail during the “mad cow” hullabaloo.

For fun, because we like to shake things up, we founded the “Brotherhood of Vulgar”, a poet’s club, paraphrasing Dante’s “vulgar” language, meaning silly rhymes and salacious verses.

Miriam takes part, though often accused of being too “gentle”, she still manages a few quite vivacious rhymes.

But the most representative member of the brotherhood was “Roventino da Panzano” who animated and enlivened many parties with his joy for life, his poetry and… his music! Yes, Roventino accompanied his verses with a guitar.

I speak in the past tense because Roventino passed away last Sunday, the 5th of June.

Our sorrow is great.  Our emptiness is vast, and we want to fill it by speaking about him in his own carefree manner.

Why did Marco Teglia, Florentine antiquarian of Luccan descent, take “Roventino da Panzano” as his nome d’arte???  Dario’s fault, of course.

Roventino had been a “friend of friends’” for some time before his first visit Panzano during the “mad cow” period. Here this bizarre spirit found his element, and he and Dario created fun with dinners, parties and general cheerfulness.

Roventino was a food and wine gourmand, of strong and capacious build (suitable for the work at hand). The name he adopted comes from a tasty dish. A “roventino” is a delicious pig blood fritter, or also  a very hot stone used for cooking. Just like a hot stone, his verses left a mark, like a branding iron.  If a swear-word was called for,  he would use it.

But not only. In his copious repertoire, one finds  true poetry and sentimental ballads. In the past few years he also published two delightful, small books with a grand protagonist, a Tuscan farm hand from the 1930’s, Guerrino Anchioni, nicknamed  “il Popolo”,  “The People” because as his mother ran out of milk, he was breast-fed by all the women of his village!

This letter is homage to a man who animated many merry evenings, a real treat for those who remember, for us who loved him and always will.

Goodbye Roventino!

Miriam Serni Casalini and Dario Cecchini