High fashion always divides. Any collection, even signed by the most famous stylists in the world, is still subject to criticism. They don’t like the colors, maybe the cut of the clothes or the style of the hats, or maybe the frills they wear on the catwalk. However, there is a boutique that brings everyone together except for vegetarians: the shepherd’s boutique and Norciain the province of Perugia. haute couture signed Mario Terenzi. For decades, the Pecoraro boutique has been one of the reference points for flavors of deli meats, cheese and more. Opened in 1960, it has survived crises, earthquakes, pandemics and displacements and is now in its seventies. Housed for decades in rooms overlooking Piazza San Benedetto, it was forced to move due to the 2016 tremors. Now it is in one of the prefabricated houses of the makeshift shopping area in Via della Statione, but it remains a real garrison for goodness, products that, thanks to the sympathy of the owner Mario Terenzi, who jokes and emphasizes Nurcino strictly, become real workhorses.
– When will it be possible to return to ordering sandwiches in the store in the center?
Who knows? Perhaps when work begins, it will be possible to put forward a hypothesis or imagine their end, but for now everything is on the high seas. This is a question that cannot be answered.
– Was the earthquake period or the Covid period harder?
The pandemic has literally brought us to our knees. The devastating earthquake was followed by an incredible rain of solidarity and help from the Italian people. An exciting wave that showed how big the heart of a beautiful country is. I did not imagine such strong evidence. Support came from all regions. Maybe even too much. For example, Siena treated me like a son in difficult times. Special relationship with Nikkio, the Tower, as well as with other areas. I walked around the neighborhood to attend their parties. They reimbursed my expenses and bought all the groceries I brought. I am still attached to many.
– Various consequences of the pandemic.
Opposites: we were literally abandoned.
– In any case, the situation has improved now …
Yes, but we are very far from the time when Norcia was teeming with tourists. I have always said that it will take thirty years to overcome this period. The problem is that when we succeed, it will already be time for another earthquake. And we’ll start again. Until…
– Not yet?
Recovery lesson not learned. If done right, houses don’t collapse.
– Let’s go back. Tell us the history of the boutique.
The store was founded in 1960. Marco D’Annunzio. Norcia it was not yet a very popular city, but the store survived. In the early eighties, D’Annunzio became a father. I worked in a supermarket, in a butcher shop. He came shopping, and I saved him the best pieces for the baby. One day he suddenly asked me: do you want to come work with me?
And she accepted the offer.
Yes, but there is a reason. Some time ago, the owner of the supermarket called me in his office and said: dear Mario, you are doing a good job, and therefore I will give you an increase of 50,000 lire. I was making a million and literally felt cheated. I didn’t ask for anything, and they gave me a ridiculous raise. I promised the owner that at the first job offer I would leave. D’Annunzio offered me a double salary: I accepted and decided to change my life. Also, since I was married, I had my first child and had to pay my mortgage.
– Then he became the owner of the Boutique.
Accurate. After a couple of years I was offered to go into business and I accepted because the price was good and I could pay a little.
“Suddenly, the shop has become a real reference point for butchers.
The turning point was the opening of the Forca Canapine and Forca di Cerro tunnels. Norcia has emerged from its historical isolation and has been taken over by tourists and visitors. Find for merchants. But football has also helped us a lot, especially in Perugia and Ascoli.
– I mean pre-season rallies, of course.
Definite. Serie A and B teams trained in Norcia, but only when Grifo or Picchio were there did the city literally fill up with fans and athletes, and sandwiches were bought up. Even the players went crazy. After hard training in the morning they returned to the hotel, and their dinners consisted of broths and salads, and in the afternoon they came to me to cut ham and cheese. A trusting relationship was born, and when they left, they went to the store and bought everything. To many players who switched teams, I continued to send home salami of all kinds over the years. In fact, I even donated one of the shoes.
– What does shoes have to do with meat snacks?
I was on holiday in Thailand and I saw a pair of boots with a cobra head in the store. Sandro Tovalieri came to mind, a striker who played for Perugia, whom I knew well. So I went to the store, bought the boots and donated them to Cobra.
– The long collection of VIPs who frequented his store includes more than just footballers.
Actors, singers and politicians of all stripes. From Renzi to Gentiloni, passing through Mattarella, which came several times during the earthquake. And also Ezio Gregio, Terence Hill, Nino Frassica and many, many others. I even had a small role in an episode of Don Matteo: I was carrying cutting boards, and Marshal Cecchini (Frassica, approx. ed.) did not want to pay.
– Once a world-famous actress appeared.
Two giants entered the store, stood in front of the counter and began to buy groceries. Then a lady with a scarf on her head came up, went to the ricotta and tasted a piece. She did everything herself. I was distracted by two specific clients and didn’t realize it was Nicole Kidman and the giants were her bodyguards. I was sorry, it would be nice to take a picture with her.
– Cojoni de mulo and palla de nonno, Boutique products bordering on irony, have always been appreciated…
By now, they have gone out of fashion, have become “ordinary”. At first they made a splash: great sausages and special names, I sold them by the ton. Now less.
– After all, nutritionists are saying more and more unambiguously: dried meat is harmful.
This is not true. And write clearly. Gluten, lactose, preservatives and other harmful products are no longer used. Salt, pepper, maybe a little fennel and sometimes garlic. Everything is natural. They don’t hurt at all. And everyone has the right to really eat from time to time.