Naples is well regarded as the the birth place of pizza as we know it today. To Italians, a pizza is really only 4 things, dough/bread, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. The additions of pepperoni, sausage, peppers, mushroom, or the blasphemous renditions with pineapple and Canadian bacon, are blatant departures from the simplicity and paucity of ingredients in the original pizza. Not being a huge fan of either interpretation of pizza, I thought about skipping Naples on our way from Rome to the Amalfi Coast. But when else would I get the chance to try pizza the way it was meant to be eaten? We only stopped in Naples to eat and nothing else, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you much of our time there, other than the fact that there was a whole lot more dog poop on the streets than in any other part of Europe I have recently visited.
Margherita con Bufala tomato, mozarella of buffalo, basil
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele seems to be one of the oldest most popular pizzerias on the block, but Starita seemed to garner better reviews and accolades. Their classic margherita pizza was nothing short of classic and traditional. The crust was nice and doughy with just enough crispiness. The cheese was creamy and fresh without being overpowering. The sauce was tart like everything tomato in Italy. The center was a tad soupy as was to be expected.
Montanara Starita tomato, smoked cheese, cheese
While this probably looks quite the same as the last pizza, the crust was deep fried and the cheese had a delicious smokiness. We quite enjoyed this one, but it was nothing short of a carb bomb.
The pizzas were good, but nothing wow. A crispier underside and no soupy center would make it a real winner, but I guess this isn’t what necessarily makes a Neapolitan pizza. Sometimes being the original doesn’t always mean it is the best. There are pizzerias out there that have kept the basic simplicity of the Neapolitan pizza, but improved certain other aspects for the better. Still, I am glad to have tried pizza in its birth place of Naples.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here