To celebrate the holidays we escaped Rome and headed down via the high-speed ITALO (300 km per hour!) train to Napoli. Heather wanted to revisit the museum there, so like most of our trips, it was work combined with passion.
And part of that passion relates to FOOD of course! We've enjoyed real, Napolitano-style pizza a time or two, the first being a visit to Massa Lubrense many years ago. We've eaten plenty of pizza in Italy and thought almost all of it far superior to anything available in the USA. But it seems the real thing starts to lose the magic once you get about 50 kms away from it's ancestral home of Napoli. The farther away you go, the more the magic wanes.
On this tour we wanted our magic undiluted, so we did some research and talked to some trusted Italian friends and ended up at Gino Sorbillo, one of the two arguably best places to enjoy this simple, but oh so complex dish. Right now you're probably (assuming you've not been here to sample the real thing yourself) wondering what is so special about pizza here? It's rather like sex...you can read all about it but until you actually experience it yourself, you don't really get it. Larry can still remember his first time (with the pizza!) and the sudden realization of why this is so popular all around the world. We tried the classics, a marinara and a margherita washed down with cold birra. The place was packed on a Saturday night.
But NOT as crowded as Michele as you can see above. This is the rival for the title of best pizza in Napoli, which of course means best pizza in Italy, which obviously translates into best pizza in the world. We saw this mob in the afternoon shortly after they opened and realized we weren't the only ones who thought pizza a great idea the day after xmas. Mamma Mia!!!
Note: We've found pretty close replicas of this pizza at the Rossopomodoro chain which began in Napoli. We've tried them in Rome, Piedmont and Val d'Aosta and found them pretty darn good and they seem to thrive as well right here in pizza's birthplace.