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An Art & Food Tour: Napoli

Pulcinella Napoli - PepeGusto

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said … “see Naples and then die”, because there is no place more beautiful and crazy than Naples.

Naples is the most populated city in southern Italy, capital of the region of Campania.

It is famous for its museums, art, culture, gastronomy and the Vesuvius.

In Naples you have to let yourself be carried away. Naples is a river in flood. A succession of stores, arcades, colors, noisy sellers, who reads your hand and who sells you a lucky red horn. A statue of Pulcinella, a square that suddenly opens onto a baroque church, the scent of the bakeries, the smell of the fish markets, the graffiti of Maradona and San Gennaro, Naples is pure music.

Here are the contradictions of an overwhelming city that clings to you, amazes you, fascinates you, takes your breath away and gives you no respite.

A book would not be enough to talk about the Neapolitan cuisine and the creativity of the Neapolitans famous for their shrewdness.

Let’s take a little tour of typical Naples food. We start with the famous Neapolitan Pizza.

Neapolitan Pizza has very precise rules:

  • cooking in a wood-fired oven;
  • oven temperature at 485 °C
  • cooking time no more than 60-90 seconds;
  • it is forbidden the use of a rolling pin to roll out the base, it must be done by hand;
  • the diameter of the pizza has to be not more than 35 cm;
  • central thickness not more than one third of a centimeter.

Did you know that? In 2017, the art of the “pizzaiuolo napoletano” was declared by UNESCO as “intangible heritage of humanity”.

After a good pizza comes a good Babá.

Babá is the pride of Neapolitan pastry making.

The Babá, has a consistency similar to a sponge, so that it absorbs the rum liquor.

The Neapolitan Babá is a dessert that conquers you at the first bite: its softness, lightness, the rum makes it wet and delicious. This is the reason why peoples in Napoles  say “Tu si ‘nu babbà”, to mean that you are a sweetheart.

And to end our little gastronomic tour… a good coffee

In Naples, coffee is an institution, a ritual of social importance. Napolitans have invented the “suspended coffee”(caffé sospeso), that is the custom of leaving a cup of coffee paid in advance, anyone who can not pay for it can still enter a bar and drink a coffee offered by a stranger!

Because in Naples a coffee is not to be denied to anyone!

Photo by Jean Carlo Emer, Francesco Baerhard