By Roger Boylan
The Autostrada del Sole (“Highway of the Sun”), known as the “Autosole,” is the toll expressway that links Milan and Naples via Bologna, Florence, and Rome. In its 760-km. (550-mi.) length, its spectacular engineering, the importance of the cities it links, and the sheer beauty of the country through which it passes, it is one of the world’s great highways.
I first traveled on it in 1957, at age 6, as a passenger in a VW minibus with five women: three Americans and two Brits. One was my mother, and she was usually the one working the VW’s huge, near-horizontal, steering wheel and tree-tall gearshift lever. The other gals were friends of hers. It was a gap year on the Continent for them, and probably one of the most exciting adventures of their lives: a road trip in high summer from Geneva to Naples and back. with no men around to muck things up, just a tolerably weird little boy who kept to himself. For me it was just another perk of being a small Yank abroad. Continue Reading →