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Scenes from an Italian rest stop

by Michael on May 10, 2012

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When we think of Italy the first thing that comes to mind is delicious Italian food. However, we didn’t think that driving on the Autostrada would yield such a fine dining experience. In Italy, just because one is driving it doesn’t mean they need to make culinary sacrifices. As native New Yorkers who’ve lived in Philly for the last 25 years we’ve taken more trips on the New Jersey Turnpike than we care to remember. We can tell you that the food at the Molly Pitcher rest stop never looked like this:

Italian food autostrada

A wide selection of meats and cheeses is available for a roadside picnic.

Italian food

Italy autostrade food

Fine cuts of meat are displayed to be cooked to order, just like in top steakhouses.

Italian food on autostrada

Even when eating on the road Italians have a first and second course, the primi and secondi.

Italian food driving

For vegetarians an order of roasted eggplant and a chick pea salad washed down with a bottle of sparkling San Pellegrino water is a tasty option.

Italian rest stop

Who isn’t in the mood for a seafood risotto on a road trip?

Bottle of white, bottle of red
Perhaps some fresh mozzarella instead
You can dine or you can shop
At an Italian rest stop. . .

With all apologies to Billy Joel.
Click the link for more stories about Italian food.

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John Discepoli May 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I am reading this while having lunch (prepared very nicely by Laine), however it falls way short of the Italian Roadside. Not Fair!

Michael May 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Since you’re Italian it’s in your blood, maybe you should be doing the preparing.

Mary Lou Tucker May 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I noted the same on a road trip with my Italian cugini in 2010. Even standing at the espresso bar to ‘refuel’ was the true Italian experience. Buon appetito e buon viaggio!

Michael May 11, 2012 at 3:40 am

You’re so right about the standing espresso bars on the Autostrada.

MissElaineous May 11, 2012 at 12:23 am

Amazing! But are their highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive?
Doubtful.

Michael May 11, 2012 at 3:41 am

You know we’re in Portugal right now where Bruce is playing in a week. We’ll check with him.

Schub May 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

Hi Guys,
We enjoy reading about your travels, but seeing the food from Italy sure brings back fond memories. Foodies all!
Going through Germany to Vienna also was a culinary treat!
Enjoy!

Grace Sanford May 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Just read your visit with Mom in Italy. Your mom and I have a couple of things in common:always too old to travel until the opportunity comes, folding chair a necessity! slow everyone up…it doesn’t happen! Tell Mom to keep moving. We 80+ generation haven’t lost the lust for travel!

Michael May 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Thanks Grace and keep on traveling!

Larissa and Michael

Rick September 7, 2012 at 12:58 am

Roasted eggplant. Chick peas. To die for………………….

Andrea March 29, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Great memories of the Autostrada! Our first meal in Italy after we landed was at an Autogrill. Risotto Milanese, fresh bread, fresh cheeses… Our friends never believe us when we rave about the food there!

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