Yes I realize saying the pizza is some of the best in the world is a bold statement but I stand by it. More on that later.
On Friday my friend E. and I went down the Naples. Of course forgot my camera. If E. posts photos to her blog, I'll link to them.
Now that I think about it, we were a little crazy. We took the slow train down (had to save money) and spent more time on the round trip than in Naples itself. ha
First we went to MADRE (Museo D'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina). There was a Pop Art exhibit (ends later this month). I'm not the biggest Jeff Koons fan or of Pop Art but loved the Museum.
There's a great permanent collection and the space itself is worth a visit. This contemporary art museum is a former 13th Century palazzo. On the third floor there is a huge terrace with incredible views of the city and Mount Vesuvius.
There is a fantastic Francesco Clemente mural and tiled floor.
After the museum we went to Santa Maria Donna Regina Vecchia. This church was started in 780. There was massive earthquake in 1293 and the church was rebuilt.
It's beautiful and one of the few Gothic style churches in Italy.
I was starving by lunch time. I had no idea the pizza place E. was looking for was the infamous Da Michele. There are only two types of pizza to choose from; Margherita or Marinara.
This place is worth the hype. I'm used to the thinner, crispier Roman crust (and like it) but I would return to Naples just for the pizza. After all it's the place where this amazing dish was invented.
Da Michele opened in the 1870 and it's nothing fancy. It feels like a neighborhood joint. There was a wait to be seated but the pizza arrives quickly after you order. We sat in the first room where we could see the chefs put the pizza in the old wood burning ovens.
I assume the key to the great taste are the fresh simple ingredients. Growing up with excellent pizza I'm picking about my pie and my slices. I have eaten Dominos and Pizza Hut in the past (college, office parties, etc. ) and I'm glad I never have to again.
This was my second time in Naples. It's Rome squared...so hectic, chaotic and mixed with astounding beauty. I felt so disoriented. There appears to be no urban planning at all. You walk down a block and look into what you think is a store window but it's someone's living room. The elaborate religious shrines are incredible. In Rome everyone wears helmets when driving/riding scooters, Naples? No.
Another thing that stood out in Naples was the lack of tourists. We saw a few in da Michele but that's it.
Random note: Did Trenitalia have someone completely redo their website? I bought my train tickets online and printed out my paper tickets no problem.
The site was easy to navigate and for certain routes you receive a discount when you book online. Two years ago I tried to use the site and got so frustrated I gave up and just bought my tickets at the station.