Italia Slow Tour
Menu Search Search

Val Trebbia Food&Ride moto experience

The Val Trebbia by motorcycle, from the hills to the sea, amid territory, traditions, and gastronomic excellences

by Alessandro Gueli

For motorcyclists, Val Trebbia is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable rides ever. Hemingway noted in his 1945 diary, “It is the most beautiful valley in the world.” Here, the Trebbia River carves out little gorges and picturesque inlets into the landscape as it flows down from the Ligurian Apennines. Then, after a few bends, the view becomes expansive, with wide, stony beaches cut out by the River between the hills. There are many places to stop and relax your motorcycle along the approximately 120 kilometers that separate Piacenza, in Emilia, from the Ligurian Sea. This is the only way the journey can become truly immersive.

In short, the Food&Ride Moto Experience is all about the culinary excellences that link the provinces of Piacenza and Recco: DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) cold cuts (salami, coppa, and pancetta) and IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) focaccia. As such, rather than “drinking in” the Val Trebbia all at once, I truly savored it. Like a firm handshake between the two regions divided by the Apennines, the initiative supported by the two Consortia was a genuine voyage of bread and salami from the hills to the sea, a journey filled with genuine and, let’s face it, unique flavors.

A journey to find persons who, with enthusiasm and commitment, create and promote these excellences. Located in Strà di Nibbiano, “Salumi Grossetti” is one of these “guardians”. Since the stops that end with your legs under the table are my favorites, I gladly parked the motorcycle here. Once we left Piacenza’s center, or more specifically the lovely Piazza Cavalli, this was our first destination. I was dealing with the “magnificent 3” — a delicious mixed platter of salami, pancetta, and DOP coppa — just thirty kilometers from the Emilia city. The prelude is one that is unforgettable.

Now that we’re back in the seat of the Yamaha Ténéré 700, we have a fantastic guide leading our group. Multi-champion enduro rider, educator, and advocate for all-terrain motorcycle tourism Alessandro Tramelli takes us to Bobbio, one of Italy’s most picturesque villages and a crucial junction for anyone crossing the Val Trebbia. The main square is packed with bistros and bars, but the schedule moves quickly. A visit to the Abbey of San Colombano reveals the historical and cultural significance of this riverside village with its myths and legends, Devil’s Bridge, and ever-changing Film Festival. I won’t miss a stroll through the historic center.

Pisarei e Faśӧ, a typical Piacentine first course, and back in the saddle, towards the most winding part of Val Trebbia. To avoid mistakes, just follow the signs for Genoa. The Yamaha 700 is very comfortable. And it’s also quite fun: you could go anywhere, even when the asphalt ends. Not surprisingly, the term Ténéré in the Tuareg language means ‘desert’. We arrive in Recco in the late afternoon, and for me, a city person, the sea always has a certain effect. More than an arrival, it’s a landing. In Recco, focaccia is an institution, and for some years now, the authentic one with the IGP is known well beyond our borders. It’s a simple product, with few but high-quality ingredients, to which is added the “touch” of those who have been preparing it for years. For generations.

A journey within a journey: the motorcycle ride, from the hills to the sea, and the journey through the excellences of these two splendid territories. Yes, because in the end, the Val Trebbia Food&Ride Moto Experience is a story of affinities. Even on the plate…

Thank you to the Consorzio dei Salumi Piacentini DOP for the invitation to the Val Trebbia Food & Ride Tour.

The photos in this article are by Thomas Maccabelli

1 Comment

Leave a Reply