If you decide to travel through Italy by car you will undoubtedly at some point travel on the Autostrada, the Italian highway system. While on the Autostrada you will pass by rest areas where you can stop and typically these are similar to the rest areas in the US; you can put gas in the car, get a bite to eat, and use a bathroom. The usual restaurant/café on the Autostrada is the Autogrill. Depending on the size of the rest area, these can range from a simple café to a full restaurant with shopping. I wouldn’t say that the food is gourmet but you can get something decent, in a clean environment, especially at the larger Autogrills. The food is served but in a cafeteria style and there are several food options available; pastas, meats, salads, desserts, etc. Also, attached to the Autogrill is a shopping area, again these vary in size. However, the designer of the Autogrill was very smart because you have to walk through the shopping area to leave the establishment. In the larger Autogrills you will be amazed by the variety of foods that you can purchase at a rest stop. While I wouldn’t make my purchases here the items actually like quite appealing, though like all convenience stops you will also pay more. At the smaller Autogrills you will not have the variety and sometimes they can be a bit dingy. If you can try and stop at the larger establishments as they tend to be much nicer, however, if you are hungry, or need to use the bathroom don’t be afraid to stop at any of the Autogrills you encounter.
See my article on ordering espresso for more information on how to order.
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