Would you believe that you can eat over top of the Italian Autostrada? Well you can, and here's the view! Okay, so it's not that exciting of a view considering that it IS Italy, but considering that you are able to eat at what is essentially a gas station on TOP of the freeway, it's kinda novel. It's the Autogrill, and it's an Italian food chain. All things considered, it's pretty good. I mean, I wish there were more "fast food" places in Canada where I could get a salad like this with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or this salad with bocconcini and anchovies. I'd gladly settle for some roast pork. Or grab some roast potatoes and eggplant....if I had to. Heck, even this strawberry cheesecake isn't too shabby. And this is all without ordering from a sit-down menu, or searching endlessly for a family-run restaurant (although you gotta love those). All the food is prepared for the motor traveler to enjoy a quick, but hearty and healthful meal. No, it's not local or organic. And the next time I'm driving from Modena to Montepulciano, I'd rather have a chunk of parmigiano-reggiano and prosciutto. But hey, eating at the Autogrill in Italy is a heck of a lot better than any gas station I've been to anywhere else, and the food resembles real stuff. Will I make a point of stopping at an Autogrill again? Probably not. But the extensive chocolate selection rivals most any gourmet food shop in Calgary, and that is quite tempting in and of itself. Who can argue with that? p.s. Yes, I'm still grappling with HOW exactly I am ever going to finish telling you about last summer's trip to Italy. And it's getting close to the anniversary, I have to hurry!