It’s a mild Saturday evening in late January, just past 9PM. Motocycles weave through the dimly lit alleyways of Naples, Italy as throngs of locals begin to flood toward the city’s historic district. And 150 miles north, tourists can be found navigating maps and posing for photos in Rome’s sprawling piazzas as they make their way to dinner.
While all of this is taking place, there is simple yet unassuming force at play — a force so strong that it breaks all language barriers, cultural differences, and class divisions. And it is never as evident as it is on a Saturday evening in two of Italy’s most vibrant cities. This force, of course, is the force of pizza.
Having written extensivly about pizza for the past three years, I decided it was about time I took a trip over to where this saucy, cheesy food was created. Although there are many cities and countries that have strong associations with pizza, there is no spot on the planet with which pizza is more inextricably linked than Italy.
Over the course of ten days in January, I set out on an ambitious pizza adventure. Not only did I dine at a diverse group of pizza places in both Rome and Naples, but I attempted to delve deeper into the pizza making process by paying visits to a flour mill and bufflo mozzarella farm.
Over the next few months, I will be publishing an 13 part series that will provide an in depth look at the current state of pizza in Italy. There will, of course, be extensive reviews and mouth watering photos which you’ve become accustomed to finding on this website. But a special emphasis will be placed on how historically significant pizzerias are maintaining their allure in the 21st century. And don’t worry — you’ll also find out where to grab the most authentic pie in Naples!
So sit back, relax, and join me for a pizza journey to the homeland.
The above piece is the 1st article in a 13-part series about my pizza adventures in Italy (January 2011 – February 2011). You can access the other parts of the series here:
Introduction (Part 1)
Da Michele – Naples (Part 2)
Pizzeria Brandi– Naples (Part 3)
Caputo Flour Mill– Naples – (Part 4)
Salvo– Naples (Part 5)
Pizzeria Starita – Naples (Part 6)
Buffalo Mozzarella Tour – Caserta (Part 7)
Di Matteo – Naples (Part 8)
Sorbillo – Naples (Part 9)
Dar Poeta – Rome (Part 10)
Forno Marco Roscioli – Rome (Part 11)
00100 Pizza – Rome (Part 12)
Pizzeria Pellone – Naples (Part 13)