|Symbol for the Autostrada A1|
|Autostrada del Sole|
|Via:||Bologna, Florence, Rome|
|Distance:||759.4 km (471.9 miles)|
|Meets:||A50 / A51; A3|
|Route outline (key)|
The Autostrada A1 Milano-Napoli, also known as the Autostrada del Sole (Motorway of the Sun) is the longest Autostrada (Motorway) in Italy. It is the main north-south route connecting Milan to Naples, passing Bologna, Florence and Rome. It is entirely managed by Autostrade per l'Italia. The road was opened by Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1964.
The Motorway of the Sun was a major post-War project for the Italian Government in the 1950s, intended as a contribuent factor to reconstruction after World War II. Prior to completion, commercial traffic from Naples to Milan had to embark on a two day journey on major and minor trunk roads. By constructing an arterial motorway, consignments from the South of Italy heading North (and vice versa) would be delivered more quickly, thus contributing to a reduction in the price of material goods.
Construction began on the 19th May 1956. The first section between Milan and Parma opened on the 8th December 1958 in the presence of Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani and the Minister for Public Works, Giuseppe Togni. The Bologna-Florence section opened on the 3rd December 1960, followed by the Rome-Naples section on the 22 September 1962 (as the A2). The entire length of the motorway was completed on the 4th October 1964 when the final section between Chiusi and Orvieto was opened. Until that date, traffic on the A1 was forced to exit at Chiusi (southbound) or Orvieto (northbound) and use the ex-SS71 Umbro Casentinese Romagnola trunk road.
Construction of the entire motorway entailed:
- 15 million working hours
- 52 million cubic metres of excavated earth
- 1.8 million cubic metres of earth excavated from tunnel boring
- 5 million cubic metres of walls and pavements
- 16 million square metres of surfacing
- 853 bridges, viaducts and similar constructions
- 2500 manholes
- 572 overpasses
- 35 twin-bore tunnels
- 3 single-bore tunnels
The construction of the A1 was under the supervision of engineer Fedele Cova, Managing Director of the precursor to Autostrade per l'Italia, and feasibility studies as well as planning was assigned to SISI - Società Iniziative Stradali Italiane (Italian Road Initiatives Company) - a joint-venture between state oil company AGIP, car maker FIAT, cement producer Italcementi and tyre manufacturer Pirelli.
The entire 7595 km strech of road cost 272 billion Italian Lire (approx. £157 million in 1964).
The A1 formerly terminated north-east of Rome and linked to the Rome-Naples section via the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Rome Ring Road). The Rome-Naples section was given the denomination A2. On completion of the Fiano Romano - San Cesareo section in 1988, the "gap" was closed, and it was possible to bypass Rome avoiding the congested ring road. At the same time, the A2 denomination was deleted, and the entire Milan - Naples stretch assumed the denomination A1.
European Route Number
In popular culture
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the A1, national broadcaster Rai produced a two-part film called La strada dritta ("The Straight Road").
On 27 November 2014, at approximately 06:30, an attempted ambush of an armoured high-value goods van at km marker 35 (near Lodi) closed a stretch of the A1 between Lodi and Piacenza in both directions. The would-be assailants set fire to two HGVs, blocking the carriageway, however the attempt failed and they fled the scene. Breaking story - more to follow...