Skip to main content

One Night in Naples ~ Dirty, Gritty, Delicious

For a last minute weekend getaway we spent one night in Naples ~ Napoli. The city is everything our village is not - loud, dirty, gritty, chaotic & wild, with tons of traffic & maniac drivers. But there is something about it that I love! We had been to Naples before on our honeymoon & have always been meaning to return, even though most guide books had suggested skipping it altogether. There is a raw energy to this ancient city that rivals that of New York - it resonates through the food, street music & unabashed charismatic Napolitani.

We rolled into town on Secondigliano the gritty ghetto & stopped for a bite to eat.  Along this garbage filled street we met the friendliest locals (and probably mafioso). Never once did I feel in danger, the ghettos of Italy don't seem to have the same fear-inducing feel of the mean streets of America. The locals were more curious about our dust covered car - a sure sign we are not from the city than anything else!  Once we started talking in our broken Italian the Napolitani lite up & rambled on at a mile a minute - we barely understood a thing & neither could they - but we had a great time trying! And yet again our love of the people from Napoli was confirmed as they were jovial, friendly and always wanting to feed us more!
 After a quick search for last minute hotel deals we scored with Grand Hotel Europa for under 50 Euro a night (including breakfast) centrally located near the train station with a parking lot across the street (only 10 Euro/day). I recommend the hotel, not the inedible breakfast. 

We checked in to our hotel room, parked the car & hit the streets.

It was a mild January night and the warm sea air had settled nicely over the city. Sounds to me like the conditions we perfect to re-energize with homemade gelato at Gay Odin where I discovered the best cinnamon, sugar & milk flavored gelato I have ever eaten. Three scoops later we were winding our way through the Spanish Quarter and stumbled upon a phenomenal band playing on the street - as the crowd grew so did the speed of the pianists fingers. We were all in awe of this incredible talent tickling away at the keyboard.

Making our way down via Umberto I  we weaved in & out of the crowded streets - juke left, slide right, side step & commit - just go! (All that defensive city-walking from years in NYC kicked in like instinct.) We stopped for drinks in Borgo Marinaro - the fisherman's village for overpriced vino with a view. Just as we were leaving the harbor a steady flicker of blue lights caught our eye, the tell-tale sign of a motorcade, heading straight towards us. In fact they stopped across the street from us where an enormous crowd had been waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite soccer players. Juventus was in town & all ages were cheering & chanting for them. (If only I followed soccer....)

Well needless to say, after all this excitement we were ready to eat!  

 We decided to try Trianon - the rival pizzeria to the famous Michele. We've now eaten at both & they are equally delicious. We ordered the Margherita DOC with mozzeralle di bufala campana.

Perfectly stuffed, swearing I couldn't eat another bite, we waddled a few blocks back to our hotel... who am I kidding? As full as I was, I still popped in for an array of sweets at a little whole-in-the-wall pastry shop before I hit the sack!  
After a great night's sleep we did a little more exploring of the city & stopped off at the fish market. But before we could leave we needed to find another pasty shop to bring goodies home with us! So at the recommendation of a local we found Attanasio just around the corner from Piazza Garibaldi. The shop was packed with hungry locals stopping for their sfogliatelle (pastry stuffed with sweet ricotta) before heading to work. We got in line and ordered one of everything, boxed it up with a pretty ribbon & with that we were back in the car heading home.

Just one night is all we needed to feel the pulse of Napoli pump through our veins!
Our friend Giorgi says that Napoli is a country in & of itself, I agree - a dirty, gritty & delicious place to visit!


  1. I love sfogliatelle! It's amazingly good! I am happy to hear that you had a nice time here in Napoli. After living in the area for one year, I have yet to go to either Da Michele or Trianon. However, a visit to both is on the books. I'll also have to find Gay Odin...their website looks nice!

  2. That sounded like a great visit, Thanks for sharing that adventure with us. Did you guys take the train down or did you drive all that way?

  3. We drove - its only about 5 hours away & a lovely drive through this beautiful country.

  4. Pastry stuffed with sweet ricotta? OMG, I'm dying of envy here! Sounds like such a great trip! What's not to enjoy about friendly people, delicious food, a beautiful view and sweet ricotta!

  5. Napoli is blessed with scenic beauty.You enjoyed their by eating sweet ricotta.Feels great.Soon I"ll be visiting to Venice which is a beautiful place.I"ll share my experience with you all after returning from Venice.

  6. Love love love Gay Odin. Their Vesuvio chocolate is out of this world!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Meat Curing 101: Homemade Sausage & Salami

Our most favorite winter tradition is stuffing sausages with Vittorio & then hanging them from the rafters of our farmhouse to dry in the cool winter air! If you are interested in getting elbow deep in meat - try one of our cooking classes at our farm in Le Marche on sausage making & meat curing! You can taste the difference & just think of the bragging rights over all your foodie friends!Vittorio has a passion for pork

the meat
People tend to think of sausages as being the leftover parts of the pig - but here in Italy we use the shoulder or spalla of the pig. This cut has the perfect amount of fat to meat ratio and is very flavorful. No "blue-light" supermarket special - buy the highest quality - you're taking the time to make homemade sausges so splurge!

the casing
When it comes to the casing - it is what it is - the small intestine of the pig - you can go to any good high-quality butcher & they should be able to point you in the right direction. (U…

Podcast from Italy: House Hunting in Italy Tips

This is a short but info packed episode! Sharing a slice of our Move to Italy Workshops - we share a few tips & important questions to ask while house hunting in Italy! It can all be so exciting and dreamy but take the time to ask these questions to the estate agent or owner to help you understand if this house is right for you, not to mention red flags to look out for!

Then we turn to bitchin' about bureaucracy, one of our favorite infrequent segments, while stewing in paper work and immigration we can't help but share a few of our frustrations. Plus the usual updates from the farmhouse, we're bottling 300 + liters of local wine & the local gossip!

... And a little podcast gossip - according to PlayerFM we are in the 50 Best Italy Podcasts 2018 (we're actually in the top 10!) right behind all the Rick Steve's Podcasts!!
Thanks for listening!! Podcast from Italy #120House Hunting in Italy Tips & Bitchn' about Bureaucracy  Dowload/Stream on iTunes

Workshop: Pickle, Preserve & Confit | August 24-29, 2018

Learn to preserve the fruits of your labor from the garden all year long! We are constantly asked how we jar our tomatoes (over 300 kilos/year) and other pickled preserves - hence this workshop was born as a fun way to share what we've learned from the locals using produce from our farm. Plus you will learn one of the oldest ways to preserve, confit - a method to preserve duck, rabbit, goose & even lemon, etc. The best part - take home what you've made!!

After years of inquisitive guests, cooking class students and random emails on how we jar and preserve hundred of kilos of tomatoes a year - we finally created a workshop to teach you the old ways! (In all honesty a guest was helping us jar one year & suggested it- Brilliant Jamie!!)

Two-day workshop covering: Pasturized vs. Pickled - learn the differences, techniques and hazards as well. We will pickle 2 ways, preserve/jar and confit (preserving under fat). The menu includes: Confit of Rabbit, Confit of Lemons, Tom…