Fire, dough and cheese
I stayed in Naples for five days for my own version of eat, pray, love: all directed towards pizza.
Every morning, I would walk around the city to walk off the previous (day’s and) night’s excesses. I would see a line of trucks offloading a ton of wooden logs at the crack of dawn to fire up the ovens, and I would understand that pizzas here are a matter of national pride.
What makes the pizzas here special? Maybe it is the wood-fired ovens—the only way pizza is made in this town—that are warmed the way they’ve been for centuries, or perhaps it was just some secret hedonistic technique.
Who knows? So here is a list of top spots where you’ll never tire of savouring these fire-kissed beauties.
This pizzeria is open only for dinner. Come by for the Pizza Bianca—sans tomatoes—with scarola (a bitter green), aubergines and provola cheese. Pizza so perfect it’s worthy of all those Pinterest board photos.
Address: Via Caravaggio, 53-55
Lombardi for Pizza with Smoked Provola Cheese
This was where I was served by a Malayali waiter who had forgotten both English and his native tongue and conversed with me in a smattering of Italian and heavy-duty gesturing. Founded at the turn of the century by Enrico Lombardi, who sold pizza in Brazil before setting up shop in Naples, this is the place for Pizza with Smoked Provola Cheese.
Address: Via Foria, 12/14
Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro for Pizza with Salsiccia and Friarielli
Established in 1923, and spanning three floors with marble-topped tables, this pizzeria whips up over 29 different types of toppings. You have to try the salsiccia (Italian sausage) and friarielli (a type of sprouting broccoli that grows only in the countryside around Naples). If you get a chance to look up from your plate, the glittering view of Naples’ skyline right outside ain’t so bad either.
Address: Via Pietro Colletta, 44/46
Da Michele for Pizza Marinara
This pizzeria serves only two types of pizzas—Margherita and Marinara made from sweet San Marzano tomatoes. I wasn’t lucky enough to get a table here—the wait was over 2 hours each time I visited. But I suppose if the Condurros (who own this eatery) have been making these pizzas for hungry patrons since 1870, they will still be around the next time I visit.
Address: via Sersale, 13
Da Attilio for Pizza Alle Carnevale
This trattoria is known for its porcini folded in a tubular pizza-cannolo. If you think that’s a bite of heaven, wait till you try the Pizza Alle Carnevale. Shaped like a star, it is a party with chunks of ricotta, mozzarella, and sausage doused in spicy tomato sauce.
Address: Via Pignasecca, 17
Now that your schedule is sorted, some golden rules: Italians order one pizza per person, splitting is frowned upon, and so is taking leftovers home. The pizza will come uncut. So sit back, order that limoncello on the side, and kiss that diet goodbye.