Mangia! This command conjures up the image of the quintessential Italian grandmother at Sunday dinner. Italy is renowned for its food and wine and Naples is a perfect place to savor the wonderful cuisine of the south. Its culture is rich, and food plays an important role. Just walking past a pastry shop, fruit stand or one of the many pizzerias is a gift to the senses.
I had done quite a bit of research on Naples' pizzerias and my goal was to down as many pizzas as possible during our stay. I think you could live in Naples for a year and still not have tried every pizzeria. I honestly think I could eat pizza every day, but unfortunately, after two nights of pizza, Paul longed for, well, anything but pizza. It remains my goal - for the next trip! There's a pizzeria every couple of feet and I doubt there's a bad one to be had. The ones we tried were excellent and they're amazingly inexpensive at about €5 more or less.
This is Starita, one of the better-known pizzerias. It was delicious. The crust is very thin and the pizza is baked at up to 1,000 degrees F. which gives the crust its leopard spots. Did you know that the Margherita pizza celebrates the Italian flag with its red tomato sauce, white mozzarella and green basil?
Paul and I missed our connection to Naples due to mechanical problems on one of our flights and we arrived seven hours late, so this neighborhood restaurant a few steps from our hotel was a delicious and welcome end to a very long day.
In our opinion, the best pizza we had was actually in Sorrento. We happened upon Frankie's Pizza Bar, not exactly the name you'd expect in Sorrento, but we were hungry and thought we'd give it a try. Truly scrumptious! See the post about our day trip to Sorrento.
The One That Got Away
L'Antica Pizzeria de Michele is perhaps the most famous pizzeria in Naples and the one I most wanted to try. Unless you arrive before they open, there's always a line, and unfortunately when we came upon it, the line was at least an hour long. Next time...
I had read this article in the Guardian before I left. It's a great guide to the best pizza restaurants in Naples.
No words necessary...they're as good as they look.
These angioletti al pistacchio, or pistachio angels, were like sugar donuts drizzled with pistachio cream and they were amazing!
And of course you shouldn't go anywhere in Italy without getting your fill of gelato!
The Beautiful Fruit
It's so fresh and colorful - and it was artichoke season!
Fish, Fish and More Fish
I like fish, I don't love it. But for some reason I love to visit fish markets when I travel. Not surprisingly, the fish in Naples were plentiful and quite interesting! Some of these photos were taken at the Porta Nolana market which is a large, open air market near the main train station. It sells everything from clothing and toys to fruit and fish. Other photos were taken at individual shops or stalls as we strolled down the streets.
This guy deserves special billing. He was on his way back to the freezer (we hoped) at the end of the day.
Katie ordered sea bass twice. I call it, "The Whole Thing Looking at You". She said each was delicious. She's more adventurous than I am!
We love to pop into small grocery stores when we travel. They're so colorful and aromatic! The case in front in the photo below contains side dishes (contorni).
Al Cucciolo Bohemien was my favorite. Good food, good wine, good service and warm atmosphere. There were also locals dining there which is always a good sign. It's just off Via Toledo not far from the bay.
Trattoria A Figlia D' A Maruzzara, also in the Quarteri Spagnoli, moved us to a larger table and kept bringing food - and drink!
Who wouldn't love a little mozzarella with your gelato?
We loved the wines of Campania; they're rich and full-bodied. This was our favorite and we brought some bottles home to remind us of the wonderful food and drink of Naples.
Salute e buon appetito a tutti!
➜ Top Tips
Naples - actually all of Italy - isn't the place to visit while trying to maintain your diet. Taste and enjoy all the wonderful food and wine and don't skimp on the pastries! You'll probably walk off the extra pounds anyway!
Try the red wine; it's truly delicious!