Any Recent Naples experiences?
Hi, hope it's not too late to be of assistance here. I was in Naples from Jan 28-Feb 3. I think it's my favorite city in Italy. On to the food.....
Pizza--Of course you can't go to Naples without eating pizza. Da Michele is great but when there be sure to try the marinara pizza. No cheese, just an amazing sauce with some garlic and of course the excellent crust. Another nice place with more options for pizza is Pizzeria Mattozzi (Filangieri 16--up the street from Piazza Martiri). I enjoyed their friarelli with sausage pizza. They also have the pizza margarita with buffalo mozzarella and other dining options if you get tired of pizza.
Da Tonino (Via S.Teresa a Chiaia, 47) -- Great casalinga food and really cheap. They are only open for dinner on the weekends. There's lots of good wines and hearty food. I actually went here first to sample the classic friarelli and sausage dish. Some of the best greens I have ever had. They tasted like they were cooked inside the pig. Carciofi judea were also good.
Pescheria Mattiucci (Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 27)- This was perhaps my favorite spot. They are open Tue, Wed and Fri night only. There's only one thing on the menu...a large and delicious dish of pesce crudo (with tuna, salmon, and shrimp). It's not a sit down place. You stand at large tables with others eating the fish, drinking the wines on offer and augmenting the dish or soaking up the flavors on the plate with bread and fresh fennel. It's a fairly dim spot and looks like it was formerly a fish market with white and blue tiles on the wall. It's a fun place to try out your Italian or have someone try out their English on you. They get the music right which is important and have a real friendly vibe. Afterwards we headed down the street to Enoteca Belledonne ( Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 18) for some nice wines by the glass and another fun atmosphere. In general, the Chiaia neighborhood of Naples is fun and vibrant.
Massa (don't know the exact address but it's on Arena Della Sanita or something like that) I wandered into this neighborhood after a morning at the Archaeological Museum. I wanted to check out the Mercato Dei Vergini. This place is a small grocery with some tables in the back. It is here that I ate the best meatball of my life. In this shop I had two large meatballs, pasta patate, a veal dish with potatoes and peas and 1/4 liter of red for an unbelievable 9euros. The guy who took my order and such seemed pretty excited that there was someone in his place who doesn't usually come in there. As I was eating it filled up with local workers. Later, my friend from Naples told me I was lucky to get out of this neighborhood at all. Supposedly this is one of the most lawless areas of Naples which would make it pretty lawless. Walking down the streets I was definitely made as someone not from there. But I didn't have a lot of money or a camera or anything so I wasn't really worried. However, I would say that if you don't like shady places, are walking around with your new digital SLR or don't speak passable tourist Italian you probably want to stay away.
La Barrique (Piazetta Ascensione 9) This was our splurge in Naples. Even with a bottle of wine, (modestly priced) two starters, to main courses and one desert it was under 100 euros. In Rome or Milan the meal would have easily been closer to 120-140. I had the costata de vitello with patate al forno. My wife, a vegetarian had some kind of carcofi souffle, I was too busy eating the delicious veal to really pay attention to her food. Still, it looked good. The wine list here is really strong with almost every region of Italy represented and the service is quite good.
As for sights, I really enjoyed the excavations under the church of St. Lorenzo. The archeological museum is excellent with all the good stuff removed from Pompeii and the Caravaggio over the altar at the Pio Monte Del Misercordia is pretty neat. I even sat through daily mass to see it. My last piece of advice is not to skip on Naples just because it has a less than stellar reputation. It’s not like any other place in Italy.
Jen, Luciano Pignataro recommends O' Cuppiello in the town of Pomigliano d'Arco
(http://www.lucianopignataro.it/artico...), a few kms form Parco Vesuvio and which I believe is a stop on the Circumvesuviana rail line. Capalbo has others in her book,
but it's very big area, much heavily industrialized.
Jen, So much. Random thoughts: the street market in Pignasecca (near via Toledo), the
pizza at Da Ciro or Da Michele or Bellini (near Santa Chiara and Port'Alba); a day trip to Procida, the bluecollar Ischia; a commuter train ride to Pozzuoli and its seaside fish market.
Immediately buy a copy of Carla Capalbo's amazing and essential The Food and Wine Guide to Naples and Campania and cjeck out www.lucianopignataro.it, Luciano Pignataro's essential web guide to eating, drinking, and discovering the city and region (in Italian, but worth every word). Buon soggiorno.
Go to "Da Michele" for pizza. It is by the train station. Everyone knows where it is. Across the street is the "Trianon", but I heard they started mechanically mixing the dough? Since pizza is so serious a Napoli some locals say not to go there anymore.
-Capodimonte: Kings palace using for hunting excursions turned into wonderful museum. If you like Caravaggio...you'll love this.
-National Archeological Museum
-Piazza del Gesu. Wonderful church.
-Take a train to Caserta and tour the Reggia di Caserta. Another hunting get away for the king. It was modelled after Versailles. 30 min train ride.
-The boat to Capri, Ischia...etc don't take long. There is some incredible wine and food on Ischia and Capri has rich history to tour.
There's a lot to see!