I didn’t originally share our visit to Naples because it was pretty stressful, very hurried, and I didn’t feel like we really had the best photos to share, but then I found the mini clip of the guys making the pizza at the famous L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and I just had to share it. I had completely forgotten that I took the video clip & it took me right back to that amazing pizza. I can almost smell it! That pizza was honestly the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. I wish that was an exaggeration because I have no desire to go back to Naples. I wonder if I could go stay in Positano and have a messenger bring me pizzas from Naples…
We flew into Naples from Taormina on a little hopper jet. We were not only the the only Americans on the flight, but in the entire terminal! All of the announcements were in Italian so Ben & I were just sort of guessing when we saw a huge group of people surging around what we thought was our gate. When they saw our passports, they turned on a prerecorded announcement in English. They even had a safety feature recording in English just for us! Sicily is really a place where Northern Italians go to vacation & hit the beach. No other tourists were hitting Sicily and Naples while we were there. Side Note: The more we have traveled, the more I have discovered that the “orderly” boarding system that we have in the US with numbered boarding is unique. In all of the other countries we have traveled to, they announce the flight, everyone shoves & jostles to stick their boarding pass under the nose of the attendant then hustles in. Waiting patiently for our number to be called quickly made us the last ones on a flight on a few occasions. We learned quickly after that!
Ben & I picked up our rental car (that adorable little Fiat above!) & headed into Naples some pretty chaotic & terrifying driving. There seemed to be no right of way or rules of the road. Six lanes of traffic would be headed one way while another stream of cars used the same road space and tried to weave their way through going the other way. After traffic pushing us in the wrong direction a few times we managed to make it to our destination. We’d driven around in Naples long enough to know that there was absolutely zero parking. Cars were double and even triple parked in the road. I saw a triangle of space between a parked car & a restaurant planter that a normal car wouldn’t fit in, but I floored it to beat another little Fiat to it & quickly wedged myself in! The restaurant owner came out and demanded money for the “parking space” in a way that I wasn’t going to argue with so we paid him and darted across the street to pick up our pizza.
You may recognize Pizzeria da Michele from the movie Eat, Pray, Love. It is one of the oldest pizzerias in the world. Naples is a rough city. I’ve known two people other people who visited Naples. Both were experienced travelers, bother were very cautious, both had their cars broken into & were robbed. We kept our belongings close & our car in eyesight and didn’t spend too much time there. It was fascinating to see the dense city & be away from tourists. It also lived up to its reputation of having the best pizza! If you are looking to visit Naples, check out the Well Traveled Wife or Overseas Escape for more posts!
Italians eat pizza one of two ways….sitting down, eating it with a fork and knife as you can see in the first few seconds of the movie clip above or standing & eating it folded in half on the go. The wait for a seat was insanely long and we wanted to get to Pompeii so we took our pizza outside with many others to enjoy.
Tips on How to Order:
- Push past the crowds & walk right up to the gentleman sitting on a stool at the front
- Order two pizzas. I know they look large, but trust me, you will want to get a whole one for yourself. They have a few sizes to chose from, but they all look exactly the same so save a Euro and just order the normal like the locals do.
- There are only two options: Margherita pizza and Marinara pizza. Those are the original pizzas & the only two choices at any respectable pizza joint in Italy. Live it up and get one of each. Don’t ask for other toppings. Come back to the US for that.
- Have cash! (We spent a total of 10 Euros for 2 large pizzas & a Coke)
- Once you’ve paid, you will be given a ticket. Take it to the back, hand it to the guys making the pizzas. Yes, this is the right thing to do. No, it doesn’t feel like it because you will completely be in the way!
- Take your delicious pizzas outside. Fold your slice in half and enjoy right away while it’s piping hot!
Look at that pizza whiz by!
We took out pizzas outside to eat like the locals, folded in half & eaten standing up! We were able to snag a bus stop bench for a few minutes because I was struggling to balance everything. Just look at that soft, heat blistered dough, big chunks of garlic, and fresh tomato sauce…not to mention the gooey cheese! Sooo good!!
I apologize for the terrible quality of this video. I was shoulder to shoulder, being jostled by servers & patrons, and sticking my phone through a wrought iron gate that was keeping people from getting nailed in the head with the long pizza paddles while I took this, but it was so much fun to get to see their speed. Pizzas were tossed, toppings were done in seconds, then huge paddles threw them into the blistering hot oven for only a few minutes. We saw them make 50 pizzas in no time at all!