Cantagallo is still, after so long, the most “frequented” Autogrill of Italy, where everyone feels really at home and can enjoy a helping of tortellini with Parmigiano sauce.
It was in the boom years of the ‘60s that Cantagallo was first opened, in what was still the “Mottagrill” period.
Built for food industrialist Angelo Motta, it was heralded, on the day of its inauguration (29 April 1961), as the “most important in Italy and the biggest in Europe”.
Cantagallo immediately became a point of reference for a new class of motorists, who would leave their Seicento, Lambretta or Maggiolone in the external car park and start dreaming: from the vast windows bridging the A1 motorway you could watch the cars drive past and see the history of travel, of the whole of Italy. As you still can.
It was like a mini-city, with a bar and a restaurant, a post office and a tourist board office, a bank (Banca Commerciale), a bookshop and newsagent, and even a florist.
At Cantagallo, people could say “let’s go to mass at Autogrill”, because there was a little church nearby (on the provincial road), where mass is still celebrated every Sunday at 11.
In the meantime, Cantagallo has been completely renovated and is still the main point of reference for travellers on the A1.