Naples, Sorrento and Positano Pizza (and other food)
Forgive the naivete of this question. I am going to the Amalfi Coast for the first time next month, and I am currently supposed to stay in Naples for a night; a significant reason I am doing this is to try the pizza. But I have heard such bad things about Naples (garbage, crime etc.), that I am reconsidering stopping there. If I miss it, will I regret it? Do Sorrento and Positano offer pizza comparable to Naples, or is it something one must try only in Naples? Any specific pizza suggestions in these towns?
Also, any general advice on restaurants in Positano, Sorrento and Capri is appreciated. I am looking for simple, authentic Italian, possibly places not completely inundated with tourists (even though I am one), as well as one or two "special" place (Hotel Il San Pietro?).
Il San Pietro
Via Laurito,2, Positano, Campania , IT
Naples is a fascinating, historic town with great food, pizza and other. most of the garbage issues are outside the historic center tho its not as clean and neat as northern italian cities. If you can handle NY or Chicago and take the normal precautions for securing your wallet and being oriented that you should take everywhere you go, you will be fine in Naples, a great European city. If you search a little, even read through the Discussions linked right below, you will get some recommendations for your destinations.
We have literally just flown back from Naples and spent a day and a night there after two weeks in Italy. I thought it was a complete shit-hole that is better at night than during the day - at least that is when the city comes to life and the grime and decay gets hidden. Maybe a harsh judgement but as a someone who is very well travelled I couldn't see its attractions.
We were warned by several different Italian friends (from Rome) that street crime is a big problem, this was reinforced by comments in just about every guide book. That said I took Jen's advice on board and wandered around taking the usual precautions. But we soon noticed few Neapolitans wear jewellery and very few men wear watches - who knows if that is because of the crime but better safe than sorry we returned to the hotel and left ALL valuables in the safe and just travelled with cash for meals and drinks (no watch, rings, SLR camera etc) - at least we now felt safer. To me that is a lot different to NYC.
We tried Da Michele for pizza and it is good, the wait at lunchtime is quite long 45 mins, go in and get a number from the waiter by the door (not the cashier), if you want to take-away pay the cashier and take the ticket to the kitchen and wait. We tried both types of pizza (that is all they do) and both are good: Worth the wait? Worth the hassle of Naples? Tricky to say, I didn't think they were much different from good pizza's we had in Capri and Ostuni (Puglia) on future visits we won't bother with Naples as good pizza isn't tricky to find across Italy (but beware really bad pizza is also easy to find).
We also tried to get into "Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo" for dinner at about 9:00pm, the area around here is pretty funky and studenty so good fun, but the list or a table had at least 60 names ahead of us so we gave up. Instead we headed for "La Stanza del Gusto" around the corner which was very good with some great service, and excellent and interesting food (but not Pizza) and superb cheese - a real local spot with lots of the owners friends dropping in and joining his table.
More about our experiences in Capri and other parts of Italy once I write up the posts.
Via Cesare Sersale, 1, Naples, Campania 80139, IT
Via dei Tribunali, 32, Naples, Campania , IT
Glad you had a good meal at La Stanza del Gusto. Thats one of our favorite places in Naples.
We have stayed in the center of Naples several times and never felt menaced. The area around the station is unattractive, and we didnt like the watefront or the touristy Santa Lucia area too much either, but the historic center and Vomero (id say Chaia too, tho we didnt spend much time there) are extremely interesting and evocative and the people are charming. Its a good place for cultural tourism if that is your interest as well as inexpensive good eating - glad you got to sample the latter at any rate.
La Stanza del Gusto
Via Santa Maria di Constantinopoli 100, Naples, Campania , IT
Ah Da Michele. Had a hour stopover in Naples en route to Positano and ran to get two take away pizzas to bring back to others waiting with luggage at station. Great taste, if a bit sloppy. Could have been the 10 minutes being cooped up in the box though.
Also tried the 'branch' in Tokyo a couple of months ago, a different beast entirely.