The informant related an Italian proverb which was told to him several times in Italy.
“Chi va piano, va lontano. Which means ‘He who goes slow, goes far.’
So, it’s like the idea slow and steady wins the race.”
He said that it was generally used on him to tell him to slow down when eating his food so he would be more able to finish it all. But he says that the general use was more in terms of setting goals so that you don’t have to be great at something when you start, but if you keep improving, you will go far.
The fact that this is a regional oicotype of a very common phrase in english is interesting. Did the phrase originate in Italy and travel to the states, or did they develop independantly?