Last Saturday, my husband, son and I went to Val Trebbia, a beautiful valley in the Piacentino area. It’s about an hour and a half drive from our house, and once you leave the city of Piacenza, you really start to appreciate the panorama.
The flat, dry ground of the Po Valley gives way to the Apennines, with tiny villages nestled on their slopes and the Trebbia river winding its way through the area. There are many picturesque villages in the area, but our destination was the Bellaria restaurant in Rivergaro.
This family-run restaurant has been open for many years now, serving delicious, traditional food in a beautiful setting. If you should ever by lucky to go there, try their home-made tortellini – delicate pasta with a ricotta and spinach filling, tossed in butter and sage, but obviously made with a secret recipe that gives them a flavour you won’t find anywhere else!
Their anolini are exquisite too – pasta with a meat filling, served either in stock or with a tomato sauce. And if these don’t appeal, there are other pasta dishes to choose from, including home-made lasagne. Or you could try two or three different types, and just skip the main course!
After all that wonderful food, a walk along the river is practically obligatory as an aid to digestion. During the summer, many Italians from near and far head to the river Trebbia at the weekend for a picnic, a swim, or just to top up their tans.
And as you head home, you promise yourself that it won’t be long before you return to the mountains for a much-needed respite from the humid heat of the Lodigiano area.