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NAPLES- Quest for the Perfect Pizza

ITALY | Wednesday, 30 September 2009 | Views [757] | Comments [1]

We were a little apprehensive about Naples, we had heard and read so many stories, and none of them shone a very positive light on the city of the perfect pizza. We really didn’t know what to expect and had stirred each other the entire way from Rome about it. As it turned out we had nothing to worry about, we all loved this charming and charismatic city; it was so alive and colourful. From what we had heard we were expecting the ‘Bronx’, however, we never felt unsafe for a second. Some of our travelling party had almost made us cancel they were so psyched out about coming here, and couldn’t believe we would come all this way, and risk our lives even, just for a slice of pizza!!! (Humble pie for some!) Well we tried to explain this was no ordinary ‘run of the mill’ pizza, and our stop over in Napoli was well and truly justified. After getting off the train we went out in search of a taxi, the place we were staying was a little too far to walk with our luggage, but not too far away, about 1km actually, so we were advised to catch a cab. We were approached by 3 different ‘cabbies’, but after realising where we wanted to go, we were palmed off to someone else, who in turn palmed us on to someone else. It was quite hilarious, no one wanted to take us, until the last guy pretty much told us to walk!!! So walk we did, it was hot and our luggage weighed a tonne, but we eventually found our little place, after weaving in and out of the little back alleys that is central Naples. Portanova, the little B&B we were staying at, turned out to be a little gem, and our host a complete gentleman, he even hoisted our bags up the 2 flights of stairs to our rooms….Thanks Angelo. Highly recommended!!

So now completely exhausted, our arms about an inch longer from dragging our luggage, and our tummies quite ready for the Pizza we have come to sample, we set off for our first destination, da Michele, one of the oldest Pizzerias in Napoli and the one with the best reputation. We arrived to a line of people out the door waiting to be seated….a good sign we assured our companions, who wanted to go somewhere else where they didn’t have to wait. We got ourselves a ticket, stood in line and waited for our number to be called. A bit like Yum Cha. It took about an hour to get inside, it was the most unassuming place, the menu simple, 2 choices; Margherita with double mozzarella if you liked, or a Marinara, which is basically no cheese. The drinks menu just as simple, all one price, you could chose between Coke, Fanta, Water, or Beer, I know! bit of a no brainer. We ordered a couple of beers, and 3 pizzas to share between the 4 of us, double mozzarella of course. We had such high expectations of this place that we were starting to get a bit nervous, especially after dragging ½ of our travelling party almost against their will, here just for this (and even more especially because one said companion doesn’t even like pizza!!) Our pizza’s arrived, no one said a word, I have to say these aren’t the prettiest of pizzas definitely no prizes for presentation would be won here, but the proof is in the tasting right!?!? Were they good??? Good they were, no ‘great’ they were, absolutely amazing, their reputation very well deserved, by far the best pizza any of us had ever tasted, or will ever taste, even the non-pizza lover was in raptures. Our expectations were totally and completely met. It’s all in the base; so crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, but still thin, divine, with that charred flavour only a wood fired oven can produce, da Michele you rocked our world!! Thank you. A few apologies were made from the non-believers, and lunch was devoured by all. Well done us!! was so worth the effort. Next we set off for our little walking tour of Naples, we walked down to the wharfs, to the Duomo (of course), and basically just moseyed around. We come across this gorgeous little section of alley-ways that had miniatures and caricatures for sale, as well as chillies, little man chillies, keyring chillies, blown glass chillies, never seen so many chillies!! We later found out they are for good fortune. The little alleys were absolutely special though, and reminded Sharon of Asia, much to Jo’s dismay (they reminded her of Italy!!!!) Everything was made by hand, the shopkeepers were continuously making things while we stood and watched. Pizza recommendation number 2 was from Angelo our kind host, and took us back to these alleys for another sampling. Let me say, after the sun goes down…different story completely! Looked like something out of a movie I’ve seen, think ‘I Am Legend’!!! All the cute shop fronts were boarded up and pad locked with massive metal bolts worthy of Fort Knox, and the others had thick metal roller doors alla Legend status, we were expecting to run into some dark seekers on any corner!! Kind of gave us that ‘wrong place, wrong time’ feeling, needless to say we walked pretty fast! Was all good though. The Pizza at Sorbillos was great, not quite in the da Michele league, but by far the best we had tried compared to the rest of the country. We lashed out and tried a Sicilian, and naturally, a Margherita (have to compare apples with apples yeah?) …all washed down with a Nastro, of course, pizzas best friend. A good time was had by all. Only one more thing to do before we headed for home, you guessed it, gelati!! It just wouldn’t be a day in Italy without it!!! Only regret....... we didn't stay longer!



we so "get it" about the food would have liked more description about the things you saw. Any way we are glad to hear that you are all safe and well.

  denise Oct 6, 2009 8:36 PM



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