When you finally take that trip to Italy, you better plan it properly. Italy’s a unique country and whether you go there to visit our cities, enjoy our top-class beaches, admire the masterpieces in our churches and museums, there is another thing you want to do: eat real Italian food! Italy is not just an open-air museum, it’s also a foodie’s heaven and your experience there won’t be complete if you don’t satisfy your palate as well!
So here is my advice: when you plan your trip to Italy, be sure to make a food itinerary: try the regional dishes of the places you’ll visit (check out our regional food blog series), in order to get the full spectrum of unique tastes and flavors. But besides regional cuisine you’ll want to taste our signature dishes too, right? Then pizza has to be at the top of that list!
The Neapolitan pizza is a “must” of your Italian experience because, in the words of Serious Eats, it “achieves a crust that’s tender and pillowy inside with charring on the undercarriage and leopard-spotting along the rim“. It’s not a cakewalk! But don’t worry if your trip doesn’t include Naples – we made a list for you of the best 6 Neapolitan-style pizzerias outside of Naples!
1. Ciro & Sons, Florence
Usually visitors to Florence want to see the Uffizi and the Accademia, so after paying a visit to Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s masterpieces, step into the friendly and warm atmosphere of Ciro & Sons. The restaurant’s not far from the train station and you can admire their 18th century frescoes while you wait for your pizza topped with mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella)! The restaurant is part of the residence of the late-Renaissance noble family of Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini, so this place definitely offers the perfect foodie and art combo! Oh, and gluten-free pizzas are also available…what else can you ask for?
2. O’Muniacello, Florence
O’Muniacello is the little Naples of Oltrarno. It’s located on a side street right off of Piazza Santo Spirito in a building that used to be a convent in 1600. The atmosphere is full-on decadent Neapolitan-style with angels flying overhead and garlands of tomatoes draped from the walls. Here you can taste dozens of toppings of genuine Neapolitan pizza or calzone made in the wood pizza oven. O’Muniacello is open daily for dinner only and some nights you can also enjoy live Neapolitan music! Ready to sing “Oh Sole Mio”?
3. Pizzeria Aurora, Sorrento
This is the perfect place to taste great pizza and typical Neapolitan food as well. Pizzeria Aurora is situated in Piazza Tasso, the main square of Sorrento. The pizzeria offers fifty (yes, fifty!) different types of toppings, prepared with a special dough and baked in a traditional wood oven. You can enjoy your pizza on the outdoor terrace and see the intense movida of a Southern main square or stay inside in air-conditioned comfort. They serve pizza at lunch too!
4. Pizzeria da Salvatore, Verona
Romeo and Juliet’s city is one of my favorites. I don’t know if it’s for the breathtaking Arena, the picturesque landscape or the feeling of the Shakespearian tragedy at every corner… Anyways, I’m sure that after thinking about the two lovers’ drama you’ll be hungry so be aware that the best Neapolitan pizza in Verona is at Da Salvatore! The location is a little off the tourists’ beaten path, on a street lined with porticoes at the beginning of Veronetta, on the left shore of the Adige River. They have a vast array of pizzas but the most popular are the Calvetti, the Mexico and the spicy Ivan. The pizzeria is small and sometimes you’ll have to wait for a table but the wait is definitely worthy!
5. Ristorante Dedalo, Maiori (Amalfi)
The Ristorante Dedalo is located steps away the seafront, at the historic center of Maiori in the Amalfi coast. Their expert pizza makers, the fresh local products and the traditional wood oven will make your pizza experience unforgettable! But besides excellent Neapolitan-style pizza, you can also taste their fresh seafood menu, other delicacies from Campanian cuisine. There is also a great wine list with major Italian labels to perfectly complement your meal.
6. Lo Guarracino, Positano
The romantic setting of Lo Guarracino is simply unique! This very Neapolitan-style pizzeria is perched on a cliff between Spiaggia Fornillo and Spiaggia Grande. At Lo Guarracino you have catch-of-the-day seafood or pizza. We suggest you to try the “Pizza Guarracino” with tomatoes and seafood as the main features, or “Bufalino” made with real buffalo mozzarella. Moreover you can see their pizza oven located in the arbor section of the restaurant and it’s adorned with an icon of Saint Pizza!
Finding a good Neapolitan pizza outside Naples is not impossible! To which one of these pizzerias would you like to go?