Pizza and Chaos in Napoli

The streets of the center of Napoli are complete chaos. I wonder how moms walk with their infants in strollers on the cobblestone streets without sidewalks avoiding cars, motorcycles, and bicycles with calmness. I think American moms would go mad here! I definitely notice my pulse is higher walking through these streets. I warn Giovanni that the passing car’s side mirror is only inches away from his arm and we see motorcycles going against traffic. But somehow we witness no accidents.

Everyone is used to the chaos! The amount of trash gathered in corners also surprises me. Why aren’t there trash cans on the streets like other cities? Instead we see piles of clothes, garbage bags, and even furniture on the street.

Alas, we arrive to the pizzeria here in Napoli that we had heard about from a friend of a friend in Barcelona (who is from Napoli) and this pizzeria is also mentioned in the book Eat, Pray, Love: L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. Thankfully, we were seated right away and ordered 2 double mozzarella margherita pizzas. They only have 2 kinds of pizza, margherita and marinara (margherita has mozzarella cheese and marinara is just tomatoes without cheese but with garlic instead). Giovanni and I anxiously awaited for the pizzaiolo to make the pizzas. We had high expectations and a hungry stomach. When the pizzas arrived to the table, we had to pause for a photo before eating. And oh my god, they exceeded our expectations…the dough is crisp and you can taste the wood burning brick oven yet it is doughy. The melted mozzarella cheese is slightly sweet and the fresh tomatoes soak the surface of the dough. Each bite was more delicious than the previous and we savored each bite as we devoured both pizzas.

As we left with our stomachs stretched full, we noticed a sign that said this pizzeria has been open since 1870! We walked back to our bed and breakfast by the train station, only stopping to stare at the numerous nativity scenes for sale and Christmas tree ornaments on the streets. We also entered the Duomo, the main cathedral of Napoli, and I have to say it’s the most impressive cathedral I have visited on this trip thus far (even better than the Notre Dame). I loved the side room with pink granite and touches of gold, frescos on the ceiling, and black granite statues.

 

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