Category Archives: Napoli

Another Pizza Inspired Weekend to Napoli and Capri + Scooters

We finally made it back!  It was worth the wait.  The problem is, there are still 3 or 4 other pizza spots I haven’t yet sampled.  So, Napoli, I’ll be back soon.  Most or all of the places we stopped at in Napoli can be found on my Napoli Map!

We started out at Da Michele.  Straight from the train station we got there at around 11 just as they were firing the second round of pizzas.  It was the perfect time to come because there was no line and the oven was hot.  The pizza was pretty perfect by Napoli standards: Crisp outer crust with a soft inside, oily, cheesy topping with a gooey delicious center.  I could just eat gooey Da Michele pizza middles all day.  We at below the picture of Julia Roberts eating pizza there.  Haunting.

On our walk to our Hotel, Il Convento, we stumbled upon some awesome, classic Fascist Architecture.  Oh, and the hotel was very nice, great bathroom, poor water pressure, good location.

and some trash –> art studies in the streets, and a crazily painted garage.

Later in the day we headed up to Capodimonte for a walk in the park and to take in the view.

We went back to Ristorante Mattozzi Europeo for dinner.  It was fantastic.  We started out with some buffalo mozzarella, octopus and some little teeny tiny white fish that were raw and dressed.  Crazy texture, I loved them.

Next we had a Margherita Pizza and a Marinara Pizza, bot delicious.

Our pasta was the best pasta I’ve had in Italy so far.  Calamarata with clams, shrimp, squid and a fish sauce that was ridiculous.  I could have had a bowl of the fish stock as a soup with a piece of bread.  It was thick, saffrony and just blew my taste buds away.

We finished up with a mixed grill plate that was also, pretty pretty good: squid, white fish, shrimp.  I was pretty pleased with our meal, to say the least.

Sunday Morning we headed to Cafe Gambrinus for a little sfogliatelle and cafe.  It was only our 4th time in 24 hours.

And then to Capri!  We rented awesome little scooters at the port and started zoomed around the island.  Here I am with an awesome Mary statue.

This is the ridiculous line of boats waiting to take people into the Blue Grotto or Grotta Azzurra.  What a trip.  You definitely didn’t have to lay that low.  Smuggler scarzo.

Next stop on our scooters: The Piccola Marina for some beach access and a dip.  The water was cold but refreshing in the 80 degree + weather.  Working on a nice tan.  We had pizzas at the cafe above the beach, something D’Oro.  It was alright, they let us park our scooters out front so we had to do it.  Still, better than most pizza Napoletana in rome.

We took a little hike around the less touristy part of the island before heading home.

I definitely recommend renting scooters.  It was a great way to see the entire island.  I’m not so sure how fun it would be during the height of tourist season but at this time of year, it was perfect.

Da Michele
Via Cesare Sersale, 1
80139 Naples, Italy
081 5539204

Hotel Il Convento
Via Speranzella, 137
80132 Naples, Italy
081 403977

Ristorante Mattozzi Europeo
Via Campodisola Marchese, 4
80133 Naples, Italy
081 552 1323

Gran Cafe Gambrinus
Via Chiaia, 1
80132 Naples, Italy

Napoli For My Birthday

I’ve been craving pizza and a new city to explore.  Napoli was the perfect destination.  We were all very nervous about going after all the horror stories we heard.  The first thing we did was get a pizza each from a little hole in the wall place called I Decumani.  There was no point in waiting.  I ate most of mine on a park bench.  It was mediocre but still SO satisfying.

Pretty soon after eating our pizzas and checking into the Hotel Neapolis (a great hotel, 87 euro for three beds, one large enough for two people), we made our way over to meet Giovanni and his family at a little place called Europeo di A. Mattozzi.  We started with two cheese: mozzarella di bufala and a smoked provoletta.  The mozz was incredible.  Next we had a margarita pizza and a marinara pizza, both were the best pizzas I’ve had in Italy thus far.  On the side we had some croquette filled with potato and the smoke provoletta, along with some sauteed escarole.

Next, the pastas.  We started with a hot and spicy pasta called Spaghetti Sufrito.  The pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce, made from various Vitello insides, was pretty interesting.  Each bite offered a different texture and flavor.  Pasta number two was a Paccheri con vongole, tomato, scampi and angostine.  Again, the pasta was cooked perfectly and the fish was delicious.

For Secondo, we split some alici fritti and some carciofi.   I think fried anchovies are my favorite kind of fried fish.

For dessert, we had a flourless chocolate-almond cake, perfect for the non-gluten eaters among us, along with a torta di fragolini, babas with rum, cream puffs, limoncello, grappa and one last prosecco to celebrate the owner’s birthday and our birthdays before leaving.

After we walked to the famous cafe Gambrinus for espresso and more little treats.

We walked around Napoli a bit and were slightly sickened by tripe hanging in well lit display cases on the streets.

The next morning we got up and out really early.  Our first stop was across the street from our hotel to get some hot and fresh sfogliatelle.  Then we walked down Via Petrucciani and went into a bunch of the nativity scene stores to look at all the dollhouse sized stuff.  Pretty amazingly detailed stuff.

This was followed by a visit to the Gesu Nuovo,  Santa Chiaia, an old cloister still in use today, and then the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.  We had an interesting time in the room with all the forbidden art.

We were particularly interested in the giant statue of Hercules.  And his… features.

Next stop was Pizzeria Brandi for some very disappointing pizza.  Maybe because it was still early in the day or maybe they just aren’t as good as the guide books say they are.  Whatever the reason, it was a let down.

We went for a long walk after lunch had some coffee and more sfoliatelle and came across someone putting their work van to good Sunday afternoon use — moving their sailboat.

Our last major cultural stop was the Palazzo Reale, a ridiculously ornate and grand old palace.

And of course, one last baba for the road.

Hotel Neapolis
Via Francesco dei Giudice, 13
081 764 9752
87 euro for 1 night, 3 beds