A lion in Santarcangelo (interview with Giuseppe Zangoli)

In the late 60’s, a circus with animals came to town. One morning there was a stampede and people took refuge in the fish market. Three lions had escaped! Two were caught, while one young lion went to where the gazelles were kept. So it had to put it down. The circus dwarf took this lion, which weighed a ton, to the butcher’s and asked for its claws in order to make an amulet from them. At the time a Mr. Fafin, a local “personality” who, as Mayor of Santarcangelo, had abolished sex discrimination and liked women, was in charge of slaughtering.  Fafin skinned the lion, which is still preserved at Marchi’s printing house, and when he saw the meat, he thought he might as well eat it. He approached the matter scientifically by  first giving some meat to the cats to see how they’d react. If cats ate the lion’s meat it meant that the meat had to be good, and so it was. His brother in law was the owner of the “da Brudet” tavern and that evening the dish of the day was tagliatelle with lion ragù and lion salami (sausage).

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