Life is good in Chianti, life is good in Panzano . . .
“Le Barone”, a feminine name which has always evoked for me two women, two noblewomen, Bianca Maria Viviani Della Robbia, whom I admired through the pages of her “ Farm in Chianti”, a book that my father, Tullio, held as a treasure, and that I used to read with passion, like a fable, but where however I could ﬁnd familiar places and people as well as relatives. Also a book where I could ﬁnd and admire the will and entrepreneurship of a lady who loved her land, and who, in diﬃcult years, fought strongly to make it more productive and modern.
Her daughter Franca, Duchess di Grazzano Visconti, I knew personally. We Tuscans have always given priority to quarters of beef over quarters of nobility, but have always had the greatest respect for courage and strength of character. And Duchess Franca was a fascinating woman of great character, whom I admired. I was very fond of her. When, thirty years ago, Franca decided to transform Villa Le Barone into an elegant residence, raising curiosity and interest, I felt how similar she was to her mother: entrepreneurship, focus on the long term and love for Panzano, this town.
She has created a jewel, a new source of prestige for Panzano. She has been an encouragement to other tourism businesses and other successful local development initiatives. Life is good in Chianti. Life is good in Panzano – perhaps not the most beautiful town in the world – but a beautiful land blessed by God, where a friendly smile is always to be found, where laborious people have the taste and the tradition of welcoming guests, the sense of hospitality and the happiness to celebrate. Here is the past and future, seasoned with good food and good wine. And this is the hopeful future for all of us.