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The finest pizzerias in Naples

About Naples


If you come to Naples and you do not have pizza, you have not been to Naples at all. We are making no suggestions here, this is your duty.

“Italians and pizza, what a cliché”, we know you are thinking that. Well… Yes. This is exactly the kind of situation when Italians praise their food like nothing else in the world matters. Apologies.

So pizza is a yeasted flatbread generally topped with tomato sauce, cheese and other condiments, all baked in an oven… But you probably know that. Everybody knows what a pizza is. If you do not, please stop reading and go have a slice. Trying it is compulsory as a human being.

The history of pizza gets lost in the mists of time, since various ancient peoples produced flatbreads with toppings. Among them, the Romans used to eat focaccia quite frequently. It is another kind of flatbread you can flavor at your own peace and it is probably pizza’s closest ancestor. In fact the word pizza was first documented in 997 AD in Gaeta, one of Romans first settlements, and successively in different parts of Central and Southern Italy.

Anyway, modern pizza was born in Naples. It is no sophism, is accredited. We are talking about history.

It is believed that a galette flatbread existed in Naples since the 16th century and it was commonly called pizza. When Europeans started importing products from America, this traditional sweet recipe was replaced by oil, tomatoes or fish toppings. However, apparentely modern pizza has a precise birthday. On June 11th 1889, to honour the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created the Pizza Margherita, which is now one of the most wide-spread kind of pizza worldwide. It is flavored with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, just like the colours the Italian flag. Probably Italians are more devoted to it than to their flag, so it is the most patriotic thing in the whole country. Seriousely.

During its first years, pizza was mainly eaten in Italy. Its diffusion started after World War II, when Allied troops in Italy got to know Italian food and exported it in their homelands. It might be absurd to imagine, but people really lived without pizza less then a century ago… Well, actually they carried on their lives. There is no living withour pizza. We all agree on that, right?

As you probably know, there are pizzas of every kind and for every taste. Anyway, for some people the margherita and the marinara still are the only real pizzas. Very similar in their ingredients but very different in taste, these are the oldest kinds of pizzas. The marinara is a little older and has a topping of tomato, oregano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Its name means the seaman’s wife, because those women used to prepare it to their husbands when they came back home from fishing. We spoke about the margherita a little while ago, but you probably knew its recipe even before. If not, shame on you.

Ok. Now that we have summarized the main information about pizza, the most interesting part comes. Sorry if it took a little while to get to the point. Great things deserve great explanations. So, where can you go to have some of the best pizza in Naples? The correct answer is everywhere, actually. Anyway, there are several historic pizzerias in Naples where you just need to stop.

Da Michele

Pizzeria da Michele has existed for 150 years and it has always been true to itself. There is neither menu nor choice; all you need to do is decide if you prefer a magherita or a marinara. They are real purists, no other pizzas exist.

It is the pizzeria par excellance. The environment is rustic, simple and welcoming. Prices are really low. Pizzas are cookes in wood-fired ovens, dough rises for 24 hours, the ingredients are 100% Neapolitan. Their pizza is just the quintessence of the real pizza.

It is believed to be the world’s first pizzeria in the world, as it exists since 1738 as a stand for peddlers. It was opened as a restaurant in 1830, becoming one of the best meeting points in the entire city. One of its most peculiar charateristics is that its ovens have been lined with lava rocks from nearby Mount Vesuvius… Have you ever tasted a pizza practically cooked by a volcano? Guess no. You shall take this unrepeatable opportunity.

Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba has also developed a payment system, called pizza a otto, allowing customers to pay up to eight days after their meal. Locals joke on that, saying that this could be someone’s last free if they died paying… No, we all agree this joke is not that funny after all. Actually, it is even quite creepy. If you are brave enough to take this challenge with destiny, try it! We hope you will come out safe and sound, but trying the mother of all pizzas in the world is worth the risk. Even the risk to die before paying. Do you think it is too much? You are right. Italians are really attached to pizza, in an almost disconcerting way. Sorry, this is how we do.

Di Matteo
It is that kind of place everybody knows in town. Opened far back in 1932, it still uses the same old recipe to provide his customers a proper traditional pizza. Being it a old-fashioned Italian trattoria, you can also taste a few other specialties which have made this brand great. You will forget what being hungry means; it is going to be amazing.

It is simply a must-stop for both turists and locals. Located in the very core of the city, it boasts an old tradition of passion and devotion carried on by the same family since 1935. Even if the line to enter can be quite long, the pizzeria is famous for its quick and kind service. Moreover –please pay attention- its specialty is fried pizza. Yes, fried. Fried pizza. Most likely, no more details are needed.

It was founded in 1923 by Ciro and Giorgina Leone and since then the management has never changed, passing on from father to son. The dishes followed this trend, and the owners are the only one who know the original, secret recipe.

The pizzeria is named after a theatre nearby, where famous artists used to perform. They stopped to eat there very frequently, and this is why it is known as “the artists’ pizzeria”. Aknowledged by several international magazines “the best pizza in the world”, it always draws crowds of turists and locals. Maybe you shall follow the mainstream this time.

So, which one do you prefer? Maybe the best choice would be trying them all. Even better, the best choice would be trying every pizzeria you find on your way. Why keeping fit when you are on vacation? Let's try our Naples tour, keep diet for everyday life sadness.

Pizza is joy. Pizza is life. You are in its very hometown and you should take advantage of if. Enjoy it. Experience it. And if it sounds a little bit too rethorical… Well, maybe it is. Sorry. Just go and stuff yourself with pizza, it is the only right thing to do!

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