Naples

We weren’t even going to come to Naples, and I really ended up liking it. People say it’s dirty, people say it’s big, and they are right, but so what, lots of cities are like that and they still manage to be charming.

You learn pretty quickly what areas to stay away from, you can see them from a mile away (dark, depressing, etc). You learn pretty quickly that cabs will jack the shit out of you. You learn that pizza is absolutely everywhere and that walking around can get away from you quickly as you find that you are miles from your hotel.

They have a pedestrian avenue that I loved (Via Pessina and it’s a must do) and the old town part of the city can get quite charming with its cobblestones and winding narrow streets (Centro Antico). This old town area feels just right. It’s not huge but some of those streets are long and skinny with as much commerce as you can cram in. It’s fun to get lost there. We tried the port area but didn’t really understand why that was very interesting, pretty sure we just failed at that attempt.

We did try some of the more popular and famous pizza places. Di Matteo and Da Michele.
Di matteo is almost like a hot dog cart, with pizzas waiting for you, and service that’s almost too quick. You eat your pizza in the street just like you would a hot dog in NYC, and true to form, this pizza is more like a snack than anything else. It is folded twice and can be eaten really really quickly, which we did of course. The pizza itself was delicious, but so so simple. While they just call it pizza, for my purposes I need to call it Neopolitan pizza, because a true Neopolitan place could work almost nowhere in the states. They offer no options, they offer no variations. It is exclusively an ingredients based argument, and while the ingredients are excellent, I think the limited choices would have to change really quickly with a bunch of Americans around. A pie is only 1.50 euros here…yup.
Da Michele is an actual sit down restaurant, and it is outrageously popular. You get a number when you walk up and depressingly wait at the front door for the doorman to have mercy on you and call your number. Depending on how many people you have, the wait can easily be 2 hours, and people will stand there the whole time. We got some beers from a nearby market so our wait wasn’t too bad 🙂 The pizza itself comes in the 2 standard types, margherita and marinara (basically with cheese and without cheese). The marinara has just amazing sauce and everything is perfect except, THERE’S NO CHEESE. Cheese please, and I was happy to see that there was an extra cheese option on the margherita (we got it the classic way but I was still happy to see them acquiesce to at least one extras option). The food was great, and pretty big for 4 euros. We got both pies and definitely couldn’t finish, though everyone else seemed to so maybe we are just wimps. In any case, it was that beautifully chewy crust, that perfect sauce, and cheese that has the perfect consistency. It was amazing, but it’s just not one of those things you want everyday like you would in a New York slice style establishment, where everyday can be a different experience.

Notes to self:

-Dinner at Mimi’s was absolutely perfect. Seems like everyone and their mother has been there, it was like a big family eating together as well. We had a perfect table and excellent food, especially with their 2 euro appetizers (some prices just amazed me).


Hotels

UNA Hotel (June 2016)