of my friends just wrote to me from the best pizzeria in the world, in Naples,
which reminded me of how fantastic it was ... They wrote that it has become
even cheaper since I visited – the double mozzarella is only 5 euros ... In one
of Naples' less upmarket districts, close to the train station, there is a
simple pizzeria, Da Michelle. The doorway is nondescript, and there’s nothing
ostentatious inside either, while the menu is downright rudimentary: two types
of pizza are available, margherita and marinara, the former in single or double
mozzarella versions, and both in several sizes. And yet, on weekdays at noon,
there is always a huge line in front of the place!
of pizza, in a few different sizes, for between €4 and €5.50. That’s the whole
menu, and the drinks menu is similarly scanty: Coca Cola, Fanta, Peroni, Nastro
Azzurro beer, and mineral water. Not much. (Still, the beer is something ...
:)) And the end result: Margherita (tomato, basil, extra virgin olive oil,
double mozzarella), and Marinara (tomato, oregano, garlic, extra virgin olive
oil). Both pizzas are ridiculously good, with natural flavors, perfect
ingredients, but nothing over-fancy: simple fior di latte mozzarella (not even
buffala, meaning buffalo!), real puréed tomatoes in the sauce, and a
professional pizza oven, is pretty much it. Da Michele has been leading the
industry since 1870... "
are famous for their love of coffee. As the day begins, they immediately gulp
down two or three cups of their lethally strong coffee, generally on an empty
stomach. They seize every available opportunity to enjoy “a short one” which
always hits the digestive system like a bomb. It’s not the wine of the local
region which is its most popular product, but its unique coffee blends. All
around the world, attempts are being made to imitate Neapolitan coffee, but
virtually no one has to date succeeded, not least because they don’t take into
account the real, source of its magic. Is it the water of Naples that sets it
apart: Or the blends, which are unique to each individual restaurant? Or the
roasting? It’s a question that could be argued over indefinitely.
But how it is possible that this populace, which certainly needs no alcohol to dissolve
its inhibitions, succumbs en masse to its passion for caffeine? It is about the
basic need of Neapolitans to live their entire lives in a permanent state of excitement
on the verge of nervous collapse, dancing on the edge of a razor, in a state of
spasmodic tension that destroys the petrified routine of nature. They drink
coffee by the liter to give their bodies a kick, and to lift them out of
I have no
idea how the legend of the "lazy Neapolitans" who, like Mexicans,
just bake their bellies by the day and don’t care about the passage of time,
came into being. At one time, perhaps, they were like this – back when Naples
was still a thriving capital. But the Neapolitans I know can only live in noise
and constant movement and are never satisfied. "See Naples and die"
is the (ambiguous) saying of foreigners. And as the Neapolitans say, "You
can see the whole world - but you can only die in Naples."
the local pizza restaurant chain (Rossopomodoro) the pizzas are first-class,
but that should be last on your list. The main thing is to try as many
great places as possible, like Brandi, home of the world’s first margherita, or
the legendary Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, the very upscale Sobrillo, Da Michele,
a mecca for pizza lovers, or Dal Presidente, which is also very popular.
the famous pizzerias compete with each other on Via dei Tribunali, but it’s useful to look around
anywhere in the Spanish Quarter where it’s easy to get lost at night.
Neapolitan pizza may not be what you’re used to. Expect a thin dough, thicker
than the edges, and with relatively few toppings. The local margherita is a
must-try, but the number of possible options can be overwhelming. If you
head to a pizzeria, get ready for the queues and the wait, which can get long
in the evenings on Via dei Tribunali, especially on Saturdays.” (2016)