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Why Napoli is famous for pizza

15 September 2020 08:32

Discover more about Naples' culinary staple

Discover more about Naples' culinary staple

When we picture Italy, we might imagine the rolling hills of the wine region, the tumbling cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, the freshest of fresh pasta and, of course, pizza.

But have you ever wondered about the origins of pizza - where this delicious, treat-topped flatbread comes from, and why it's so famous? Let's take a look at why Napoli is famous for pizza.

What's so special about pizza?

The humble pizza is a worldwide favourite meal, with restaurants and takeaways serving it up all across the globe. Even the pickiest eaters find it hard to refuse a delectably fresh slice. And while we may associate pizza with Italy, its origins actually lie in Ancient Greece, where round, flat pieces of bread were seasoned with oil, herbs and spices. At the time, it's likely that tomatoes hadn't been discovered - so dates were used to top them instead!

When did Napoli's history with pizza begin?

Pizza - from the Greek word pitta, meaning bread - eventually made it to Napoli in the 18th century, where it was sold by street vendors. It became popular among the poor, as it was filling and cheap. But when Queen Margherita arrived to survey her kingdom in 1889, she too was impressed by the delicious snack. When one chef created a pizza with toppings of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil (representing the Italian flag) to impress her, the worldwide favourite Margherita pizza was born.

How important is pizza in Naples today?

So, what's different about the Neapolitan pizza? Well, a thin base and crust has become synonymous with the city of Naples - so much so that large restaurant chains allow you to specifically choose a “Neapolitan”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, foodies flock to Naples every year to sample its authentic cuisine - making it the so-called “pizza capital of the world”.

Where can you go to try Naples' most famed food?

As you might imagine, you'll find authentic, fresh pizza on almost every Neapolitan street and corner - all you have to do is follow your nose. For no-frills, fresh cuisine, try Da Michele on Via Sersale (you can't book, and will often have to join a queue), or for a sit-down affair give Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba on Via Port'Alba a go - it's rumoured to be the oldest pizzeria in Naples, with the charm to match.

What else is Naples famous for?

Not in it for the pizza? Naples is also home to some of the most stunning and historical art and architecture you can find in Italy. Make sure to see the Farnese collection of ancient statues, and the ancient artefacts preserved from the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

Don't forget to take us with you

Ready to go? Get a cost-effective travel insurance quote with World First. Oh and don't forget to read our short guide to holidaying in Italy before you leave.