I am sure Naples is a lovely city with a great deal to offer, not least the National Archaeological Museum which holds many of the household objects and treasures unearthed in Pompeii. However, with only 3 nights in Naples, and two full-on daytrips, the most we saw of the city was its various stations and its pizzas. But what pizzas!
On our first night we arrived fairly late from Rome, hungry and not in the mood to deal with the metro system. The very friendly and extremely talkative host of the flat we were renting recommended a local pizza place that she claimed had some of the best pizza in Naples. We followed her directions down a street that somehow combined looking run down and slightly dodgy with some very swish jewelry shops. We nearly missed the restaurant, as there was just a small sign with the name of the place. Inside, tables for 6 were laid, and it was already heaving and chaotic.
We sat down where indicated by a rather gruff potbellied waiter, and I studied the menu. The waiter let me plod along in my pseudo Italian (mainly just Portuguese with an Italian accent and more hand gestures) until I tried to order extra chilli for Lauren (she wanted red peppers, google translate let me down), at which point for her sake he switched to perfectly good English. Drinks were served in disposable plastic cups, tables were covered in paper tablecloths, and single customers were wedged in among the groups wherever there was a chair. Payment was cash only, based on the system “tell the guy at the door what you had”. Eating protocol was very much head down, focus on the food.
Most of the customers seemed to be manual workers or office workers having a quick dinner before heading home, but there was a sprinkling of families too. Most seemed to be content with a margherita, which I’ve always felt a bit wet ordering before, but I guess with pizza this good, why disguise it with fancy toppings?
Lauren had a margherita (of course!) and I thought I ordered Bolognese sauce on mine but it turned out to be some sort of tiny curried peas with possibly some meat flavouring … it was yummy but odd. The bases were amazing, with big fluffy crusts slightly blackened on top, and incredibly thin centres. They were the size of coffee tables. Neither of us managed even half, and we ended up eating the leftovers for the next 2 days!
I’ve no idea whether Naples would have been worth exploring further if we’d had more time, I’m sure it would, but I can confirm that the pizza was the best we had anywhere in Italy, and at 6 euros for a margherita that fed Lauren for 3 days, a bargain too!