Bustling, suburban, motley, southern, fun, chaotic … all of this describes the city of Naples. Its narrow streets are full of loud people, colorful motorbikes, clotheslines in the street, images of the Virgin Mary in the most unlikely places, and businesses of all kinds.
Every traveler should take a walk through the old town, which is dominated by palaces with chipped and dilapidated facades, or do some shopping in the Galleria Umberto, which is so similar to the Vittorio Emanuele in Milan that they are sometimes confused. Nor should one miss out on an excursion to the fascinating ruins of Pompeii.
But visiting Naples without tasting authentic pizza could be considered a sin, since this Mediterranean city is the birthplace of this now internationally popular dish.
History of Pizza
Although it is thought that pizza was first created in the late eighteenth century, its origins may go back even further. It may well be related to a type of bread seasoned with herbs and olive oil that was consumed in Roman times.
Nonetheless, the first reliable sources date from the time of Ferdinand I of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1751-1825). The king was so fond of this culinary delight that he himself even traveled around the plebeian neighborhoods in search of his favorite dish.
The seafood pizza (which contains absolutely nothing from the sea) seems to be one of the oldest. It was called this because it is what the fishermen ate. Prepared with garlic, tomatoes, oil, oregano and basil, it was easy to transport, even on boats.
The famous margarita pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy(1851-1926) and created for her by one of the most emblematic restaurants in the city. With basil (green), tomato (red) and cheese (white) it displays the colors of the national flag.
The restaurant that served the first margarita pizza is called Brandi. And it is still running. In fact, it has been feeding the Neapolitan gourmets since 1780. It is located in Santa Anna di Palazzo, numbers 1 and 2.
Older still is the Port d´Alba Restaurant, located in the via Port d’Alba, number 18. Its business started on the streets in 1738 and then opened this venue, which is still open today, a century later, in 1830. Since then, they’ve been creating the best and most delicious pizzas in town. It is mentioned in all the renowned guides, and it “believes” it was the world´s first pizzeria.
Since 1870, the city has also had L´Antica Pizzeria da Michele, which is located at Via Cesare Sersale, 1. This house says it follows techniques (which are almost arcane) that bakers from Torre Annunziata used. Their pizza is made following the ancient method, with natural ingredients and without artificial yeasts that alter the flavor. That may explain the ever-present lines of people waiting to sit at one of their tables. And this is despite the fact that there are more than 1,000 pizzerias in the city.
La Pizzeria di Matteo, located on the Via Court, 94, has prominently displayed a picture of a happy Bill Clinton enjoying pizza at the venue on its Facebook page. The low prices (under 10 euros) will make you smile, and the venue can and does claim international fame.
Making your own pizza in your apartments in Naples city center would basically be a joke. Instead, you should go soak up the local culture and try one of these traditional restaurants during your stay.Tweet