If there is something that the Neapolitans take pride in, even over their venerated San Gennaro, it is to have invented pizza. According to them, only in Naples can the authentic pizzas be found, made with the right ingredients: pasta, tomato, mozzarella, and basil.
For them, the rest of the pizzas that are made in Italy and in the rest of the world are crude imitations or unacceptable heresies. The best way to check if they are right is to travel to the capital of Campania and try your pizza on site.
The truth is that pizza, pasta and their relatives (pita bread and the like) have been cooking in ovens throughout the Mediterranean since antiquity, but it is best not to engage in discussions of this kind with a Neapolitan, who will tell us the true and only origin of such simple and delicious delicacy.
We’re going back in time to the year 1889 when the Italian Queen Margherita, who spent the summer in Naples, wanted to taste that “poor food”, so they ordered the guard to order one of those pizzas from a guy named Raffaele Esposito, Famous in the city for its pizzas.
Esposito took pains to make his pizza (his reputation was at stake) and he thought that the most successful was to design one with the colors of the Italian flag: red from tomatoes, white from mozzarella cheese and green from the basil. The queen loved the idea and since then this pizza is called Margherita in her honor.
In any case, if you like pizza and travel to Naples, we recommend you visit the oldest pizza restaurant in the city: La Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, founded in 1830 and that has never stopped serving authentic Neapolitan pizza until this day.
This place appears in all the guides of the city, more as a historical monument than as a place to eat since it is always crowded with tourists. Even so, it is necessary to go through there and then choose any other old pizzeria in the historic center of Naples to eat like a true Neapolitan.
The particularity of Neapolitan pizza is at its base. The dough is just like bread dough and is always stretched by hand. It will be very thin in the center but with thick edges on the edges. In addition, its cooking is always with a wooden oven and at a very high temperature.
Best Pizzerias in Naples
Founded in 1870, it always has long lines of people who even have to organize themselves by numbers. Only the strictly Neapolitan pizzas “Marinara” (tomato, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil) or “Margherita” (tomato, mozzarella or fior di latte, basil and extra virgin olive oil) are served there.
The pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia was the first to be recommended by the Michelin Guide (quite the honor) because of the rich selection of ingredients of their pizzas and a very studied, tested and proven perfect cooking times.