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Bistrot Autogrill and the best rest areas in Europe
Bistrot Autogrill and the best rest areas in Europe

Stacco, Quark's theme song. Phlegmatic voice over: The rapidly expanding species of the gastrofighetto lives in urban environments and, in the mating phase, publishes photos of dishes on social networks, tagging itself in starred restaurants, street food festivals, gourmet events of all kinds.

Pause. We reflect.

For a few days our favorite type of eater has a new place to tag sandwiches, vintage drinks, auto-street food.

And the Bistro, a new model of stopping with a lot of gourmet spaces that our partner Autogrill transferred from Milan Central Station on the highway, on the A1, in the rest area Fiorenzuola d’Arda (Piacenza). Where 57 years ago he built the first bridge refreshment point in Europe.

Fiorenzuola d'arda rest area
Fiorenzuola d'arda rest area
Autogrill bistro
Autogrill bistro

The turning point in travel catering is under the banner of Slow Food, through collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo. And also large numbers: according to estimates for the next 12 months, 1.9 million customers are expected, welcomed by 150 employees during peak periods.

Ezio Balarini, Autogrill marketing director, explains the Bistrot Fiorenzuola d’Arda project immediately after the inauguration on 5 April.

We can only rewrite the Quark documentary: the evolution of man from australopithecus to contemporary gourmet is also marked by the Bistrot, which has allowed the traveler to enjoy culinary enjoyment even while on the move as if it were in a real bistro, with outbuildings:

Different types of bread, pizza and pasta prepared on the same day with sourdough and Lombard flour, desserts and croissants filled at the moment, the regional street food.

Corner with fresh fruit and vegetables, smoothies, smoothies, salads and fruit salads as well as the counter dedicated to drinks with coffee, infusions, herbal teas, tea, carcadè.

Fresh pasta of the day drawn (bronze) live, burgers finally up to par and mozzarella made under the eyes of customers.

Excellent gastronomy in the store for the sale of products, with a nice selection of local meats and cheeses.

Autogrill bistro
Autogrill bistro
Autogrill bistro
Autogrill bistro
Autogrill Bistrot
Autogrill Bistrot

Let's face it: traveling is a ritual that, until recently, involved a good dose of sloppiness, now the level of food on the road is finally raising the bar.

Are there other realities in Europe, besides the Italian Bistrot, worthy of a gourmet traveler? These are the notes for rest areas that really have something good to say.


In Switzerland, parking areas are rare, it is right that you know this in order to organize your plumbing needs, but also your gastronomic ones.

The Marché chain is not only in Switzerland, but on the road leading to the Gotthard tunnel (the 17 kilometers of darkness and heat even in winter that Renzi has just wrongly attributed to Italy) is an oasis in the desert.

Here the coffee is only organic, although they still have to work on the Italian-style espresso, little but sure. There is a corner of Asian cuisine that is of rare beauty (and with a lot of choice), the variety of juices is remarkable and the well-known bratwurst is not lacking.


On the French A39, after leaving the mustard country (Dijon) behind, the traveler pays homage to the local DOC bird even before setting foot inside the service area.

In fact, you are welcomed by a giant Bresse chicken, which bodes well for those who are hungry (and hungry) as a gourmet.

Here you can buy chicken to take home and cook, or take a break with the flavor of fine white meat, indeed very precious given the prices.


Not just chains and big brands: this service area (there are two others in the area) that can be defined as "independent" is managed by a farm which, needless to say, supplies and replenishes the shop and restaurant with its own products.

Starting from wine to get to herbal distillates, but above all salads, pork and speck: all home treats. We are in Carinthia, on the A2, and a stop for a sandwich filled with local sausages shouldn't be taken away by anyone. Also mark Reidling (a Carinthian Gubana cake)


Before arriving in Ljubljana, there is a stop at this Marché with fresh bread and a well-kept and respectable pastry counter.

Fresh fruit and homemade desserts, highly recommended for those who are in the area at breakfast time: even cappuccino is not bad, and it is known that finding worthy ones outside of Italy is very rare.

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