Napoli, (aka Naples on this side of ‘The Pond’) is the birthplace of pizza.
For that reason, we told ourselves prior to last fall’s cruise, that we would eat pizza there during our few hours in this ‘love-it or hate-it’ Italian town on Italy’s western coast. (The photo above of Mt. Vesuvius was taken during our Celebrity Silhouette’s early morning approach to the harbor.)
We’d braved the morning’s rain and set out, umbrellas unfurled, to explore the dizzying, congested streets, and by noon had worked up a pizza-sized appetite. We were far off the main road on one of our direction-less wanders off-the-beaten-tourist-path, when we happened upon this place:
It was one of a trillion or so similar Pizzaria’s that line the sidewalks of this ages-old city. What made this place stand out for us, was the crush of customers inside. Tiny tables within elbow’s reach of each other were filled. We were tucked into one of the last remaining in a snug corner of Ristorante e Pizzeria da Attilio* .
While most dishes were prepared in an industrial looking kitchen in the back, the pizzas were prepared by a culinary artist (as I prefer to think of him) just inside the front door.
And since every artist needs an admirer or two, I headed to his gallery to watch him prepare our pizza.
Dough was stretched, toppings in place and he turned the creation over to his assistant whose job it was to cook our pizza in his incredibly hot oven. And within minutes. . .
. . . Mama Mia! Our pizza was served; the best pizza we have ever eaten, perhaps the ‘best in Napoli’! Or was it?
That afternoon, back at the ship and resting up from that pizza, we headed to the pool and hot tub.
That’s where we struck up a conversation with a couple who told us they had just eaten ‘the best pizza in Napoli’ for lunch and described a place no where near where we had eaten. They said they knew they had eaten ‘the best pizza in Napoli” because that is what travel guru Rick Steves had said of the pizzeria located on one of his guidebook’s ‘on-the-beaten-tourist-path walks’. . .
Hmmm. . .I wonder who did eat 'the best' pizza in Napoli that day?
Are you one who ‘goes by the guidebook’? If so, what guidebooks do you use? Or do you allow yourself the opportunity to make discoveries on your own?
That’s it for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday – head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more photos today and stop by here this weekend when we will have more tales and tips for you.
*If you get to Napoli, try Da Attilio Pizzeria, Via Pignasecca, 17, http://pizzeriaattilio.jimdo.com - we think you’ll like it!