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Travel tips Italy and Naples and Pizza

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Pizza and Naples are real, or are they?

Text (translated by Google) and photo Ingar Næss. (c)

Yes, I must admit that it was the thought of eating a real Italian pizza that made us stop for a day in Naples. I didn't show that we were going to eat pizza at the world's oldest pizza baker.

On the way to Sorrento and Sant Agata, the plan was to do Naples in one day, which we managed and for me, it was actually enough. I'm not saying you shouldn't go there, because you should, but you should first read the blog of everyone who says they love Naples, in addition to this tip.

We had booked the hotel, San Pietro. Everything was fine, we changed and got out into the sun. First, we asked the receptionist about where he recommended us to enjoy the local pizza. Emphasized, so that we could really feel the real Neapolitan pizza taste. He had one suggestion, - Pizzeria da Michele!

This was the oldest in the world and had now become a real cult pizzeria with the name, "da Michele". We had never heard anything about this place, so we were convinced that we were going to eat the best pizza in the world. Yes, our expectations were high! We took the recommendation seriously and set off to enjoy this typical Neapolitan dish. It was no more than ten minutes to go, and lunch was secured.

We were quite surprised when we saw a large number of hungry guests waiting in line in front of what some call The Pizza Gourmet Temple. We went over and asked if we could book a table for tonight, but no, "qui hai una coda" (here you have a queue) was the answer. He went on to say that there was only a 45-minute waiting time, but if we were to believe those standing there, it was probably at least an hour.

We walked across the street to another restaurant and had a nice lunch there, watching all the commotion, and decided to bet there were fewer people there later in the evening.

As said and done, we took a "Hop on Hop off" bus and did Naples in two hours. This is a smart way to quickly become known, which we often use. Naples is east and west as usual, but with even greater differences.

Sorry, but unfortunately we find the city to be unnecessarily littered, but they should be proud of one thing, the racks with dog bags that were placed strategically in several places around the city.

On the west side it was actually very nice, but what many people have told me is that the old town is the best thing in all of Naples. Check it out for yourself, this is my advice! (see a small summary further down)

On the west side it was actually very nice, but what many people have told me is that the old town is the best in all of Naples. Check it out for yourself, that is my advice!

Then the evening came and we got our queue ticket and were told that it was at least 45 minutes, but weren't there that many people queuing? Then one of the guests said that the others were probably out on a trip in the city. I asked what made this place so attractive and then we got the whole story

I guess it's because of Julia Roberts, ok, why do I ask?

Yes, in the movie "Eat Pray Love", Julia Roberts eats a delicious pizza at Pizzeria da Michele. I thought I'd seen all of Julia Roberts' movies, but I hadn't seen this one.

Julia Roberts, In the movie “EAT PRAY LOVE”

He continued. Well, they make a fantastic pizza here, adding, I can say this as Neapolitan and secondly because it is one of the oldest pizzerias in Naples, opened by Michele Condurro in 1870. This he knows, I think. The origins of the Condurro pizza go back even further all the way to Michele's grandfather who was a pizza maker at the court of the Bourbon family. In 1844, the grandfather made a pizza for the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alessandrina Feodorwna, who had come to visit King Ferdinand II.

Now he was properly at work and guardians with fervor; For this special occasion, he made a pizza just for them: Cosacca, half marinara half Margherita. Legend has it that they loved the pizzas and as a thank you the Neapolitan king gave two bronze statues as a gift, which you can see in the garden of the royal palace in Piazza Plebiscito.

Since that time, the Condurro family has made only two types of pizza: Margherita (mozzarella cheese, tomato, oil, and basil) and Marinara (tomato, garlic, oil, and oregano). We were still in line waiting, or rather I was waiting, and after 90 minutes we got in and were placed at a table for four, which we shared with an Italian dad and his daughter. Who rejoiced "like a small child, or teenager as she was. We asked to see the menu, but no, they didn't have it, we could have Pizza Margherita, or Marinara. We took one of each. It took another 30 minutes before the pizza was served.

The pizza was ok, but not what I hoped for, according to my expectations and taste! The dough is different than in other pizzerias, it's probably an old recipe. For me, the pizza was too wet and "mushy", but this was an experience trip, so it was what it was.

The price was impeccable, 5 euros per piece and 3 euros per piece for soft drinks and beer.

Whatever my taste, you must visit "da Michele", and test their pizzas yourself, so you can make your own assessment. After all, it is a fun experience

So is it true that Pizza and Naples are real? Yes, I think so, but next time, I´m gone do better research!

At the very end, you will get a little more about what I have learned about, other people's opinions, and Naples in particular.

The blogger Bly as she is called says: If you have seen a photo from Naples I can almost guarantee you that the photo was taken in the Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter). It is the prototype of Naples. Crooked streets. Laundry on lines between the windows. Old mopeds on every street corner. Root. Dirt. Loud conversations. And the beauty in the chaos. Quartieri has long been one of the poorest areas of Naples, with high unemployment and strong influence from the Camorra.

Today it has become calmer - at least during the day, but I would not recommend anyone to take a walk in the area after sunset.

Others I speak to say the same about "lovely Naples". It's the laundry hanging outside the windows, that it's dirty and that they're being themselves, shouting and screaming, that is, being loud.

Some restaurants have incorporated this as part of their own branding. Such as in Quartieri Spagnoli, which has become popular as many want to experience the authentic part of the city. But then you must not forget to visit the most authentic of all - namely the restaurant "De Nennella" which is located in the heart of the Spanish Quarter. Bly continues, having lunch here is a crazy experience. It is fast-paced and the waiters are loud - they both sing and dance with their guests. You can hear the chefs exchanging jokes, cursing, and laughing with each other in the kitchen. The food is almost thrown on the table - here you have never heard the term "formal service" - but the taste is delicious in return. I simply love Neapolitans - absolutely crazy!

Regardless of whether you choose to do Naples in one day or one day, you can both go here, take the sightseeing bus, and experience Pizzeria da Michele. You just have to plan and make the most of the day.

When you have tasted your pizza and seen the city, then my recommendation is to travel further and visit Pozzuoli, 30 minutes from Naples. It is both clean and nice there, the atmosphere is a bit quieter, but the food, - wow!

Pozzuoli is one of Italy's hidden gems, - with a "burning" past. Yes, if we had shown what I know today, we would probably have set aside far more time than we had, to explore this wonderful area and taste all the wonderful food you can get in this area. Yes, it is actually where many Neapolitans travel to enjoy themselves and eat fantastic Italian food!

Have a good trip.

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