A Travellerspoint blog

November 2014

Pizza, Pompeii and more Pizza - Naples

Whoever came up with Pizza is a genius!

Our time in Naples began with a quest, a quest to find pizza and not just any pizza but mouth watering delicious wood fired Neapolitan pizza! We walked to our accommodation in the more historic area to see numerous people standing in huddles on the street watching football on what was usually tiny TV's (Naples was playing Verona). It was amazing to see the passion they had for the sport and their team.
We had been warned by numerous people (including our host, our guide and people at the airport) that Naples had a major crime issues and that we needed to be highly vigilant.

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Personally I didn't find Naples to bad, well no more so than any other city we have visited while in Europe. Naples didn't seem to have a tourist face plastered over the city, yes it is dodgy in places (what place doesn't have it's dodgier parts) but it is a beautiful city and it's graffiti, alleys and run down buildings add to it's character. I loved exploring the streets of the old town at night while dodging the lunatic Vespa's drivers that were everywhere.

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I was highly amused when we arrived at our accommodation. The old school massive gates were the opening onto the street and in these gates was a tiny door which was used most of the time to get into the house. It really was a step back in time! After dropping our bags off we headed directly to the pizza store across the road. They had the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana symbol (white robed court jester sort of fellow that is holding a pizza peel, and the words “Vera Pizza Napoletana”) and they cooked their pizza in a wood fired oven so I was hoping that they wouldn't let us down. The association ensures that real traditional Neapolitan pizza is being made. To have this symbol you have to follow an 11 page document. The pizza was delicious and definitely made me understand why Naples is the home of pizza. I have to say the base was the stand out for me. It was a decent thickness and due to the wood fired oven it was perfectly crunchy yet still soft in the centre. The eggplant & cheese on mine was excellent and Lewis' tomato sauce, cheese and mushroom was also exceptional. I learnt that pizza in Naples is meant to be slightly wet on the top to the point that you sometimes will have a puddle in the middle. of your pizza We didn't really have to much of a pool but we still ate them with a knife and fork (Just like the locals did) to avoid a saucy mess down our front incident. We didn't even attempt the more famous pizzerias on our visit. Michele's (made famous from Eat, Pray, Love) apparently doesn't use olive oil or buffalo mozzarella any more on there pizza as they say they want the tomato to stand out...to me that isn't how the pizza originally was.

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It was on our first night I discovered a little craft market and brought myself a hat + scarf. I'm sure they'll be handy very soon considering we are coming into winter.

We spent the next morning at Pompeii . We opted for a guided tour as the place is massive and there are no signs explaining what is what through all the ruins. We saw the gladiator quarters and learnt that there was plenty of time to get out of Pompeii when Mt Vesuvius started erupted; those who didn't leave didn't understand what was going on or couldn't leave for some reason.

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We walked up the two main streets seeing the stepping stones to get from side to side due to all of the grime, rubbish and filth on the road. We saw the chariot marks left on the stones. We saw bakeries, shops, rich houses & the red light district.

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Apparently the red light district is a big thing to come to Pompeii to see (We both knew nothing about it).The red light district location was shown by a penis on the road pointing the way so that you didn't have to ask. Haha I was highly amused by the sign and the fact this was needed. The many erotic images found when excavating are now in the museum in Naples but they left one brothel intact for people to see in the ruins. Above each room is an image/idea of what a man can have done inside. We headed to the main square & the temple.

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You have an amazing view of Mount Vesuvius from here and can see just how close it really is. This is also were they now keep the plaster cast imprints of the people which were covered in the ash. Hollows were left where people lay in the ash which they have filled with plaster to find more about the story behind Pompeii. They were impressive to see.

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We saw the lead pipes they used for their water also...apparently a lot of lead was used as it was used for pots and for making mulled wine out of also. We headed back to Naples on the train seeing the Amalfi coast out the window along the way. It was beautiful and I can't wait to go explore that area further on another trip.

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It was time for more pizza (It was just as good). This time with Ham and Mushroom and and Buffalo Mozzarella Margherita. It was yet again outstanding! The Buffalo mozzarella made it. I convinced Lewis that we needed to explore the numerous sweet shops we had on our street. We brought a few things like a chocolate horn and a cannoli (it had citrus peel and was pre-made so was a huge let down). I avoided the famous Neapolitan Pasteria due to it usually have citrus peel in it too.

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We enjoyed looking at the Duomo di Napoli. The inside was magnificently beautiful. There were little sections everywhere for worship as well as the main church.

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While walking the streets I noticed stores selling miniature figurines and large pieces of bark. On closer inspect I saw the presepi or large nativity scenes in the bark shell with moss that Naples is famous for. These things are amazing and the people that make them are extremely talented.

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Naples is a city with a bad reputation but deep down it is Italian thorough & thorough. It just doesn't have the tourist facade most are used too.

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Posted by chellebelle 13:22 Archived in Italy Tagged church real pizza pompeii crime alley airbnb amafi vesper Comments (0)

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