The bridge-type autogrill, infrastructure and icon of the Italian highways

Jul 06, 2021 239

BY: Alessandro Benetti

Alberto Arbasino’s writing style, as brisk and restless as it can be, would be of great help to recount the story of Italian autogrill. This tale would indeed be better narrated through the exuberant prose of its novel La Bella di Lodi, whose main character embarks in her agitated love transgressions precisely along highways and service areas. As a matter of fact autogrill’s rise and “heroic” period last no more than a summer romance, or than Italy’s economic “boom”, to put it more prosaically.

Crucial steps of this truly Italian adventure all relate to the construction of national highways: in 1955, the Romita Law launches an ambitious ten-year plan for the completion of the network; the whole Autostrada del Sole (literally the “Higway of the Sun”), between Milan and Naples, is inaugurated in 1964; since 1973, the oil crisis cools any enthusiasm and scales down investments.

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