Pizza Napoletana (Naples)

Quick Overview

There are so many fantastic traditional dishes in Italy, but perhaps no other sums up the very essence of Italian cooking better than Pizza Napoletana.

Invented in Naples somewhere between the 18th and 19th centuries, Neapolitan pizza is basically a flatbread topped with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and extra virgin olive oil. In reality, making a true Pizza Napoletana is an art and requires much more than just 3 or 4 simple ingredients.

The tomatoes must be grown in the volcanic soil of San Marzano sul Sarno, a small town near Naples, while the dough must be made with specific ingredients, formed by hand, and crowned only with D.O.C. Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. Furthermore, this type of pizza must be baked in a wood-fired oven that uses two types of wood at 900 degrees for 60-90 seconds. Nope, that’s not something you can order at 4 am at your door, during a Netflix session.

There are three official versions of Pizza Napoletana, but Margherita is the most famous. The legend says that this classic dish in the colors of the Italian flag was created by Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito in 1889, when Margherita of Savoy (Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy) visited the city.

Nowadays, Neapolitan pizza is protected by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana and is reason enough to visit Italy’s third largest city.