Here it is! The long awaited post! I went to Naples in NOVEMBER. It’s March. Along with being terrified by the state of the world (Brexit! Trump!), I have been a slave to my laptop but not for blogging reasons. But Spring is here and with it, sunshine and a renewed energy and passion for PERSISTANCE. We must persist.
To persist, one needs sustenance. A change of scenery can help too. That’s why, my dear readers, I suggest you head to Naples at the earliest opportunity. As I wrote in my last post, I did not find Naples to be any of the things that people suggested it might be. It was convivial and pretty and bustling and overall, DELICIOUS.
After Day 1 of our pizza adventures, we headed about an hour outside of town to visit Caseficio Colonne, a local producer of buffala mozzarella. We stood right there on the factory floor as they made the mozzarella and prepared it for packaging. I particularly enjoyed the smoked mozzarella although it was not for the faint of tastebuds. We even got to take some home with us!
By the time we go to La Antica Pizzeria da Michele later that afternoon, we were suitably starving. So was the rest of Naples, apparently, but everyone was in good spirits as we all waited for our tables outside in the sunshine. “da Michele” is cheap and delicious and reminded me of the pizza I grew up with on Long Island, which was prepared by first and second generation Italians, dressed in all white and selling slices for a buck to neighborhood kids like me who left their bikes unlocked out front. (Cherrywood Pizza in Wantagh was my local. Sadly, it closed a few years back.) Pies (sorry, the New Yorker in me can’t not call them pies) at da Michele are big and meant for sharing. The restaurant was packing them in and turning the tables quickly while we were there, in contrast to 50 Kalo, which felt more like a place to linger and get dessert and coffee and solve all the world’s problems. You may have heard that Da Michele has just opened up in London’s Stoke Newington. I hope to make a visit soon.
Last stop on our agenda? The famed Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo’s. I had walked by here on my first day in Naples and the queue was down the block. Thanks to Daniel, we had an in here and we were quickly joined by Gino himself and given a tour of the property. But then Gino tricked us!! He set up a big table out in front of the restaurant and served us right there on the street, surrounded by pizza paparazzi. It was pretty insane! I knew Daniel was pretty famous for his book (bible?) about pizza, Where to Eat Pizza, but I don’t think I realized exactly how famous he was until this very moment. Afterwards, Gino brought us over to his very cool laboratory next door where we talked pizza with Daniel before rolling back to the hotel, our pizza tour of Naples complete.
My trip with Daniel to visit Naples and eat all the pizza was truly eye opening. I mean, I know pizza is a big deal but in Naples, it’s REALLY a big deal. It was truly amazing to get up close and personal with these famous pizzaiolos and visit all of these famed pizzerias. Did I have a favorite? It’s hard to say. I honestly can say all the pizzas were totally awesome. I probably liked the vibe of 50 Kalo the best, but there was something about the pizza at da Michele that reminded me of my childhood — a more emotional connection.