A crumbling, hectic city that seems to be held together by pure attitude, Naples perfectly embodies southern Italian charm. The old cobbled streets are filled with the shouts of the locals, the beeps and roars of ancient scooters and of course, the heavenly scent of pizza.
Why is Neapolitan pizza so good?
Every region of Italy has its own particular delicacy, but few are as widely revered as the pizza napoletana. Pizza in Napoli is almost like a religion. In fact, Neapolitan pizza is strictly governed by a body called the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), which monitors aspects like the quality of the cheese and the thickness of the dough. A little excessive, you might say. Then, my friend you obviously have not tried it.
The base is soft and thin in the middle with a fluffy, slightly chewy crust and is lightly charred on the bottom. When you pick up a slice you should be able to fold it vertically in your hand (known as a libretto), pooling together the hot tomato sauce and the delicious cheese before you devour it all in a few bites. Although the original pizza napoletana could only be a Margherita (tomato and mozzarella) or a Marinara (tomato and oregano), the AVPN has now allowed pizzerias to expand on these classics and add other toppings.
You will find pizzerias on every corner, each claiming to be the “best pizza in Naples” and it’s true that you’d struggle to find a bad pie in the whole city. That being said, even in Bella Napoli, not all pizza was created equal. Here’s our pick of the most delicious…
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo
Generally regarded as Italy’s best pizzaiolo and certainly the king of Neapolitan pizza, Gino Sorbillo has his eponymous restaurant located in a historic, working-class neighbourhood. This pizzeria has garnered international fame, meaning there is now almost always a queue to get inside but trust us, the pizza is worth it. The menu is updated every three months but what never changes is the perfectly squishy yet crispy Neapolitan dough and the mouthwatering San Marzano (here link to the article) tomato base. Gino Sorbillo is also known for standing up to the Mafia in Naples, meaning enjoying the world’s best pizza has the added bonus of contributing to the fight against organized crime!
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
Known to the locals simply as da Michele, this pizzeria was founded in 1870 by Salvatore Condurro and has remained in his family ever since. Only the two original Neapolitan pizzas, the Margherita and the Marinara, are served and both of them have definitely been crafted to perfection over the past 150 years. Coming in at only 4 euros a pie, this spot definitely deserves its place in our list of best pizza in Naples.
Run by Antonio Starita, this pizzeria was made iconic by the elegant Sofia Loren in the film L’Oro di Napoli. With a second branch in New York City, the pizza even got the most sacred seal of approval when it was chosen by the Vatican to give to Pope John Paul II. A must-try is the Montenara, a deep-fried pizza base which is then dressed Margherita-style and baked in the oven. Even the most stout atheist may just find themselves thanking the heavens after a bite into that bad boy.
They say that Rome is the heart of Italy but Naples is the soul, so next time you’re in the city, feed yours by checking out our choice of the three best pizzerias in Naples! Have we forgotten your favourite? Let us know in the comments!