As we walked, we listened for, and heard, the river Groppo rushing below the surface of the street; small breaks in the terrain provided glimpses of the stream now covered over. Our walk led us to the top of the proper town and to the upper piazza: Piazzale Papa Innocenzo IV.
Here we found the church of San Lorenzo, built in 1338, and a decorative pale yellow campanile sporting a clock. And where there are campanili, there are, of course, bells. I always pause to let their resonant peals wash over me.
The finale of this town, at least for me, was a walk along the vineyard terraces. Despite the sad skies and random driplets spitting down upon us, we marveled at the dry-stone walls, mini-waterfalls, and lush greenery.
All of a sudden Gino spied the sign that we had been keeping one eye out for: Trattoria da Billy. Leaving Mom and Dad to meander around the piazza a few steps below, we gleefully clambered up the path towards our fondly remembered find on our very first trip to Europe in 1996.
On that trip, we had wandered aimlessly, not following any particular map, and stumbled upon a little trattoria seemingly tucked into the midst of a deserted dusty pathway dotted with grapevines. The odd name of the place, Trattoria da Billy, struck us as funny and a bit odd and we have never forgotten it.
Now, on our eighth trip over, we came upon it again, only this time we now knew that “Da Billy” means Billy’s Place. And we were doubly amused since “Billy” (and sometimes “Billy Cakes”) is my son, Kris’s, pet name for Gino. We regretted not finding it during lunch time so we could sample the fare at Da Billy.