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We arrived in Naples on Friday lunchtime with bellies rumbling having eaten a couple of sorry chocolate-flecked brioche for breakfast.
After dumping our bags at our B&B – Donna Regina – set in the heart of the Centro Storico we headed out in search of lunch.
Only a short distance onto Via Del Tribunali there were lunch options all around us. Fantastic street food, incredible smells, people bustling about, scooters whizzing past.
In the end we chose a small shop front that seemed popular with the locals, a large queue outside who occasionally were invited behind the counter and swallowed up by darkness as they disappeared into the depths of the building. We could only guess that there were seats hidden away.
Behind the plastic counter top was a small selection of freshly cooked items. One of these items was pizza – pizza al forno, and this is what we choose. The pizzas were folded into a piece of paper and handed over to us for 1 euro each!
These delicious pizzas were spread with a thin layer of fresh tomato sauce and one small piece of mozzarella in their centre. The edges were singed black from the wood-fired oven they had recently been baked in, the gritty burnt taste I came to understand is vital to the flavour of a true Neapolitan pizza.
We made it as far as a bench on a small, grubby piazza before we tucked into these tasty pizzas. Throughout out holiday we saw people eating these kinds of street pizzas, folded in paper, during their lunch breaks. Even smart Italian women in their suits and high heels were seen tucking into them.
As we sat licking tomato sauce from our fingers on the small piazza, we spotted a gelato shop on the corner.
Here we order two ice creams – for me a ‘cioccolata’ (chocolate) and for N a ‘limone sorbetta’ (lemon sorbet). Both were homemade and incredibly tasty. My chocolate ice cream was a deep, dark chocolate flavour – the best ice cream we had all holiday.
On the way back to our B&B we stopped at a small cafe – Bar Tico – and had a cold Peroni (for N) and a small cup of lemon granita eaten with a spoon. These became our signature drinks for the holiday – photos of lemon granitas to come.
The B&B that we had booked into was run by a family of artists on the 4th floor of an ancient building. Reached through an unassuming wooden door off Via Luigi Settembrini and up many stairs made from large grey stone, inside it was tranquil and charming.
Our bedroom overlooked the street below, and despite the scaffolding on the building opposite was quiet and cool, sheltered from the strong Italian sun.
At dinner time we headed back out onto the warm, sticky streets and settled at a local pizzeria for another dose of good Italian pizzas.
N ordered a ‘Napoli’ pizza, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies and oregano.
Mine by called ‘Pizza Re’ and was topped with small chunks of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, some other kind of cheese, and once cooked finished with rocket and olive oil.
Whilst eating our pizzas we watched them busily making pizzas – deftly spreading out lumps of dough into pizza bases in no time at all, adding the various toppings and sliding them into the wood-fired oven.
For our first afternoon in Naples, we had eaten incredibly well already, and couldn’t wait for the rest of our food adventures.