In Naples there is a dessert for every holiday: is actually time to chiacchiere – a sweet crispy pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar and sanguinaccio– black chocolate pudding!
A period of gastronomic liberation before the arrival of Lent, which is all about abstinence, Carnival is an invitation to be a glutton. In Naples, the festivities traditionally begin on January 17, the feast day of Sant’Antonio Abate, and end on Shrove Tuesday, which falls on February 25 this year.
The rich pudding can is made with an extra-bittersweet chocolate cream flavored with vanilla and cinnamon; some pastry makers also add candied fruit. be eaten by the spoonful but more often we eat it spread on the typical Carnival biscuits: chiacchiere.
Chiacchiere means chatter in English, which is what your mouth will be doing as you bite down on these delicious strips of crispy dough that are generally fried and covered with icing sugar.
All the Neapolitan pastry shops prepare sanguinaccio and chiacchiere during Carnival.
The neapolitan Ragù (proun. [raˈɡu]) is certainly one of the fundamental dishes from Napoli’s cooking tradition. It is the typical dish to be eaten on Sunday. It isn’t simply “carne c’ ‘a pummarola” (meat & tomato sauce), like Neapolitan theatrical actor and director Eduardo de Filippo said the Ragù takes much time to be perfect…much time. It has to be cooked for many hours to reach that characteristic solidity and strong taste, it has to “pippiare” how the Neapolitans say. In fact, tradionally the Ragù is prepared during saturday night to be ready for the lunch of Sunday, with a slow heat in a pan of clay and with a wooden spoon.
THE RAGU’ TODAY
But nowdays, in the lighter preparation, also four-five hours are sufficient. The fundamental ingredients of the Ragù are the tomato sauce, added in onions browned after softly frying them with extra-virgin oil. In Naples the Ragù has to be directly prepared with beef meat , which is the perfect second course together with the ziti or candele spezzate pasta. If you taste the Ragù, forget the good manners, the “scarpetta” is a must, so tast last sauce in the dish with a piece of bread! A simple dish but with an unique taste.
‘O rraù is not a recipe, but an ancestral symbol, a ritual that goes from gastronomy to the most authentic bond that unites the Neapolitan people with its own food.
History, stunning sea-scapes, amazing cuisine and pizzas, laid-back Italian life; Naples is famous for many things, and you can add wine to the list. The city is home to numerous wine bars and enoteca, popular with locals, tourists and a mixed crowd. We pick the top wine bars to visit when in Naples.
A popular bar with both locals and tourists, Enoteca Belledonne is a definite must try when visiting Naples. Situated in Chiaia, this bar offers a range of both food and drink specializing in both local and international wines. Dishes include bruschetta and spaghetti with meatballs. Surrounded by many small boutiques and restaurants, this is located in one of Naples’ up and coming areas and is worth a visit if you get the chance.
Nea is one of Naples’ most unique bars. An art gallery by day, Nea is dedicated to contemporary works and features paintings and sculptures by international artists dating from the second half of the twentieth century. However, this space is also home to a wine bar that serves delicious wine indoors and outdoors. With numerous magazines and catalogues placed on the tables visitors can relax and enjoy some peace and quiet after a hectic day. The artistic setting makes this a fabulous place to unwind after a busy day.
At the entrance of the room of Wine Boat you will find a boat-shaped counter, climb to the 2nd floor where you will find the air-conditioned room with tables for wine tasting. A wine lover and a Sunday drinker will welcome you to Quartieri Spagnoli of Naples for a trip through Campania. Crew will make you discover wonderful wines like Falanghina, Fiano, Greco of Tufo, Aglianico, Taurasi, …
This midcentury bookshop doubles as buzzing cocktail and wine bar, its wine-red interiors drawing a predominantly young, international crowd. Sip a well-crafted negroni while browsing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves…or the cute peeps in the crowd. Oh Berisio…so charming place!
it is true, in this case we are not in a real wine shop, but in a gastronomy, but it is practically impossible not to mention the point of sale of Salvatore Cautero among the best for its careful and careful selection of wines. It is the only Neapolitan gastronomy with a showcase dedicated to wines and champagne so rich. Therefore, in addition to exhibiting high quality products of gastronomy, Salvatore will also be able to show you the perfect wine.
This is truly a magical place for wine lovers, remains hidden from the eyes of tourists and for this reason it is up to us Neapolitans to make it known. The wines of the enoteca del Grottino are many, all of which are prized and mostly of Campania origin. Highly recommend tasting them accompanied by traditional dishes. The prices are slightly high, but given the excellent quality and the value of the wines it is more than understandable.
Everyone goes crazy for pizza. This could be the international slogan for what is the most famous Italian dish in the world. Many try to copy the original Neapolitan but to taste a real pizza here where it all started is priceless.
Here is a personal selection of the best pizzerias in the historic center of Naples for you to try. One rule: these are all less than 10 minutes walk from our holiday home!
Gino e Toto Sorbillo
The international success and the notoriety of the media do not prevent Gino Sorbillo and his brother Toto from maintaining the point and continuing to become the spokesman of the same excellence as always. The long wait to sit at the table, here, is rewarded by the care of the service and the offer: author’s round pizzas, the result of a meticulous selection of ingredients that favors the organic. The undisputed queen is still the classic Margherita, demonstrating how the simplest of recipes, if performed with technique and skill, can become and remain the number one.
Even the former president of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, could not resist the temptation of the exquisite flavors of the Di Matteo pizzeria. A pizzeria that was born in 1932 and that gradually gained popularity throughout Naples and then throughout the world. A restaurant that besides preparing the real Neapolitan pizza, will give you the opportunity to taste the best Neapolitan street-food. Do not miss the Margherita Faccia Gialla with buffalo mozzarella and yellow tomatoes and of course her majesty la frittatina.
Among the names that have made the history of Neapolitan pizza, La Figlia del Presidente brings out the charm of Neapolitan folklore thanks to an impeccable pizza, a soft and melting honeycomb, embellished with local flavors. Also try the ripieno al forno.
Also known as the Sacred Temple of Pizza, the Da Michele pizzeria is another of the Neapolitan symbols, which have made history since the second half of the nineteenth century. The secret of this pizzeria lies behind the exclusive use of fresh products and in the more traditional leavening phase of pasta. You won’t even be spoiled for choice having only two simple types of pizza: Marinara or Margherita.
Here you can breathe the air of popular friggitoria, an adventure that began back in 1860. The mood mentions neorealism, with the women of the house in checkered aprons, at work between the counter and fryers and the men who serve at the tables with the shirt and friendliness of the landlord who has guests for dinner. The authenticity of contemporary Naples in front of the old court and at the corner of Forcella. The protagonist is a fried pizza that is a cloud generously filled with fresh ingredients balanced with the wisdom of experience. A few tables, but pizza fritta is a real street food, to be enjoyed standing or walking.
One of the questions our guests often ask to us is “But if we are tired of eating pizza… where can we eat some tasty in the historic center?“ There are many trattorias that offer ragù, spaghetti with seafood, Genovese and many other goodies of the Neapolitan culinary tradition just a few steps from our apartment. These are traditional dishes at very low prices: it is difficult to exceed 20 euros. These are our favorites. One rule: these are all less than 10 minutes walk from our holiday home!
ANTICA OSTERIA PISANO
Since 1947 a small Neapolitan gastronomic legend. Antica osteria Pisano offers not only the traditional and delicious flavors of classic Neapolitan cuisine but also innovative dishes proposed by the resident chef. Where: Piazzetta Crocelle ai Mannesi 1. Tel.: +39 081 554 83 25 Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Sundays.
ANTICA TRATTORIA DA CARMINE
The trattoria is located right on Via dei Tribunali which we can define as the “tasty road” in Naples. Unlike most places in the historic center, this is a medium-sized restaurant. Compared to a classic trattoria, “Da Carmine” presents definitely much more choice. It is interesting to note how one moves from humble, albeit delicious, pasta and potatoes with provola to more elaborate and expensive fish dishes. Where: Via dei Tribunali 330 Tel.: +39 081 29 43 83 Open only for lunch on Tuesday and Sunday, for lunch and for dinner on other days. Closed on Mondays.
LA CANTINA DI VIA SAPIENZA
Since 1900 typical Neapolitan cuisine where you can taste the best local specialties. Just mention its famous eggplant parmigiana but without forgetting the gnocchi alla sorrentina, the mezzani alla genovese, the pasta with potatoes and provola which alternate from day to day in a menu that is never the same, offering variations of first courses according to the day of the week . Among the main dish to include the cod and fried anchovies for gourmets! Where: Via della Sapienza 40 Tel.: +39 081 45 90 78 Open for lunch only. Closed on Sundays.
LA TAVERNA A SANTA CHIARA
A typical restaurant overlooking the cloister of the monastery of the same name in the historic center of Naples, which has made a true trademark of the skilful combination of traditional cuisine and modern forays. The management, familiar and friendly but at the same time attentive to the innovations of the sector, allows those who choose to stop in the restaurant to discover the true food and wine soul of the city. Do not miss the pasta and peas. Where: Via Santa Chiara 6 Tel .: +39 081 048 49 08 Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on Mondays.
OSTERIA DA CARMELA
The Osteria was established in 1967 under the Bellini theater, one of the most famous in the city. The first course are the canonical ones: magnificent pasta and chickpeas and linguine with sauté. Among the main dishes, the Genovese meat, the spinach and ricotta crocché, the fish balls, the luciana octopus. To do at the moment grilled meat, or sea bass with acqua pazza with potatoes. Where: Via Conte di Ruvo, 12 Tel.: +39 081 549 97 38 Open for lunch and dinner every day.
OSTERIA LA CHITARRA
This place is really a treasure chest of memory, a place of the heart. Here there are signs of the rare and hard to find history of Naples. A dozen tables arranged to optimize the number of seatings, terracotta flooring, warm walls, photos, postcards and above all a guitar on the wall. From cotica to pasta and beans, the coroniello, the selection of meats and cheeses, the wines have been the passion of the managers for almost 25 years. Where: Rampe San Giovanni Maggiore 1/bis Tel.: +39 081 552 91 03 Open for dinner. Closed on Sundays.
Typical restaurant of Neapolitan cuisine and seafood specialties, where you can enjoy classic dishes interpreted artfully by talented chefs who compose dishes such as pasta and beans at sea. Where: Vico Cinquesanti 29 Tel.: +39 081 29 50 68 Open for lunch and dinner every day.
In the city there are so many places where you can eat a good ice cream but only some offer a truly excellent ice cream. Let’s see together the ice cream parlors not to be missed!
Quality finds its best form in Mennella ice cream, 100% natural. Composed of natural preparations, high quality fresh milk, cream obtained with the first flowering of milk, carob seed flour used as a thickener, Mennella ice cream has a natural, fresh and unmistakable taste. Every taste is prepared with fresh ingredients typical of the Italian territory: hazelnuts from Giffoni, almonds from Apulia, apricots from Vesuvius, Sorrento walnuts, lemons from the coast, wild strawberries from Acerno, pistachios from Bronte, dry and fresh seasonal fruit. The bases are prepared in the laboratory of Torre del Greco while the last process, the freezing, is done directly in the presence of the customer. WHERE: Different sales points in the city.
Fantasia Gelati was founded in 1994 and has distinguished itself over the years as an excellence in the field of artisan gelato production. The company that has been producing ice cream for 20 years in its 1000 square meter production laboratory and tasty specialties has been awarded with numerous awards. A long career distinguishes this company that over the years with dedication and passion has transformed ice cream into a multisensory experience. Starting from the choice of the most genuine and natural ingredients, such as buffalo milk and fresh fruit, up to the preparation of over 60 flavors that are updated with the arrival of each new season. WHERE: Different sales points in the city.
Leopoldo, Casa Infante
The certainty of tradition, the rich taste of memories of the past, the goodness of the historical tastes of the traditional Italian ice cream parlor. The classics, from creams to fruit flavors. Choose between chocolate goodness, tiramisu, stracciatella, coffee, zuppa inglese and the freshness of fruity tastes: sour cherry, pistachio, berries,… Highest quality and genuine delights. But not only. From the continuous research on the flavor of Casa Infante the original tastes are born. Gifts to the Neapolitan gastronomic tradition make possible specialties like ice cream with babà, pastiera and roccocò! Tasteful intuitions and whimsical combinations to savor new flavors, never tried before: figs and ruhm, almond and honey, salt caramel, … WHERE: Different sales points in the city.
Bilancione ice cream shop was born in Naples on the Posillipo hill in 1977 by the brothers Vincenzo and Pietro Bilancione and is today a reference point for both Neapolitans and tourists from all over the world. It has become a must also for people from the world of sport and entertainment. The real secrets of this success are the continuous search for quality and the professionalism with which customers are welcomed and served, all in a landscape setting among the most beautiful in the world, so that the Bilancione brand is recognized as: “ice cream of Posillipo ”. WHERE: Via Posillipo, 238.
In the heart of the Vomero district, we find Soave, the historic ice cream shop located on the main street of the hilly shopping, where you can eat excellent ice cream. Don’t miss the timeless pistachio flavor. WHERE: Via Alessandro Scarlatti, 130
Gay-Odin is not just one of the best chocolate factories in Naples. When you can rely on excellent quality raw materials, why not enjoy them in all possible forms? This is how the surprising ice creams and semifreddo desserts take their inspiration from the flavors of the Gay-Odin chocolates. Acorn forest ice cream, orange chocolate, Sicilian pistachio, Avola almond paste, ginger or hot pepper chocolate are just some of the flavors created by the most famous Neapolitan chocolate. WHERE: Via Benedetto Croce, 61.
There are two things that are synonymous with Easter in Napoli – Pastiera – the ricotta and wheat based pie that is like a cheesecake on steroids and its equally indulgent antithesis – the rustic and savoury Casatiello Napoletano. Think of them as the yin and the yang or the Adam and Eve of the Neapolitan Easter table.
A type of rustico, or a rustic bread, Casatiello is hardy, filling, and oh so satisfying. Something I would think of more as a comfort food for the cold, wet days of winter, here it is nevertheless a symbol of spring. Made only for the Easter holiday, its brother Tòrtano however is made year round.
Two breads cut from the same dough, the only difference between them – hard-boiled eggs. Perhaps symbolic of creation, I can only guess the addition of eggs to Casatiello render it suitable only for the Easter holiday. Made in a round pan similar to an American bundt pan, the shape is said to symbolize the crown of thorns.
The recipe dates to at least the 1600s and they say, the Napoletani that is, that it is not Casatiello without sugna (or strutto in Italian) – pork fat/lard. Served as part of the antipasti on Easter day, it tastes even better the next day, Pasquetta – Easter Monday.
The first step in any good Casatiello? The ingredients.
Flour, lievito – fresh yeast sold in little cubes, water, salt, pepper, and most importantly, sugna for the dough. Hard boiled eggs and an assortment of salumi and cheese inside.
To make Casatiello with 1 kg flour we recommended “un mezzo chilo di misto,” – a 1/2 kg of assorted salumi and cheese. For our Casatiello we chopped up some ciccioli, capicollo, salame napoletano, and pancetta coppata. Pecorino cheese is typically used but this time we are using a Caciotta di Avellino.
For the dough 1 kg flour plus extra for rolling the dough. 300 ml Water. 1 cake (.6 oz) fresh yeast or one package or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. Warm water. Salt and pepper. About 4 tbsp of lard for the dough plus more for coating the dough.
For the filling 1/2 kg assorted salumi and cheese. 6 hard-boiled eggs.
Pour flour onto a work surface. Mix in salt and a very generous amount of pepper. Add yeast (if you are using active dry yeast you will need to dissolve it in about 1/2 cup warm water first). Add water a little bit at a time, working it in until a soft dough begins to form. Add the lard and work it completely into the dough. Continue working the dough, adding water as needed until the dough is just slightly damp and very elastic. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 2 hr or more.
Meanwhile chop the salumi and cheese Boil and chop the eggs and add them to the salumi mixture
After the dough has risen one hour, flour the work surface and roll it out into a large rectangular form.
Spread the salumi mixture across the length of the dough starting near the bottom of the dough.
Roll the dough up like a cigar, pinch the edges and coat them with lard.
Bring the ends together to form a circular shape.
Grease the Casatiello pan with lard, work the dough into the pan and generously coat the top of the dough with lard.
Cover and let rise 3 hours.
Bake at 180º C for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
We’re all being careful not to fall for any April Fool’s jokes today – and there’s no escape from the pranksters’ favourite day of the year in Italy. Here, it just has a cuter name: April Fish. That comes from a common joke that involves sticking a drawing of a pesciolino (little fish) onto the back of an unsuspecting victim. Then, everyone else asks if anyone has seen “April’s fish” and makes jokes about that person – when, of course, the victim doesn’t know it’s them.
Chocolatiers deliciously get into the spirit with fish-shaped goodies. Schools of fish of all sizes fill shop windows, the larger ones often filled with smaller treats. To a chocoholic, fish never tasted so good! Since Easter usually falls around the same time, fish feature predominantly in shop windows through that holiday as well. Here would be a good excuse to buy special chocolates on this day over. Not that we ever really need an excuse for chocolate…
Wherever you are, have fun on April 1st and enjoy some chocolate.
Mild temperature, fertile soils of volcanic origin, favorable exposure. Always. It is no coincidence that the ancient Romans baptized the region around Naples and VesuviusCampania Felix – happy, and not just because it is kissed by the sun. To the ideal climatic conditions for healthy food Campania add a widespread passion for good cooking: the result today is that not only in Naples, but in the whole region, you can go in search of excellent recipes and typical dishes from Campania cuisine.
Campania products: vegetables and fruit
The inhabitants of Campania, before becoming pasta eaters in the eighteenth century, were known as “leaf eaters.” The “leaves” before the discovery of America were above all chicory, escarole, and broccoli; some of the latter varieties grow still today only in the countryside of Campania, especially in Salerno: friarelli, for example, a particularly tender broccoli with a bitter vein. Then, in the late 1600s, eggplants and peppers appeared in Campania recipes, and then, finally, tomatoes found their ideal habitat in this region. Choosing from the regional agricultural production, we’ll mention the beans of Alife, Acerra and Controne, the very sweet onions of Aversa, the fleshy peppers of Nocera Inferiore, the potatoes of the Mates and the sought-after Ottaviano peas. For fruit: the peaches and the velvety apricots of Vesuvius, the strawberries of Afragola and the Sele plain, the Annurche apples from Marano di Napoli, the exquisite “giant” walnuts from Sorrento and the precious hazelnuts from Avellino and Benevento.
Artichokes from Castellammare
The plain at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, an agricultural area known since Roman times, gives us one of the most interesting products of Campania: the artichoke from Castellammare, also called Castellammare violet or Schito artichoke. This artichoke is distinctive because of the color of the outer leaves, the violet shades, and its early ripening, which takes place between February and April. Although the plant produces several inflorescences, only the mammolella – i.e. the first apical shoot – is protected by local peasants with small terracotta cups called pignatelle, which keep it particularly tender. The other artichokes of the plant are sold locally, at a lower price, while the last shoots, the “grand-children” are preserved in oil. Precisely for its harvest in spring, the artichoke of Castellammare often appears in the Easter menus of Campania traditional cuisine, often stuffed and stewed in casserole.
For many Neapolitans, the sour smell of the papaccella preserved in oil immediately triggers memories of the holidays: it is a guaranteed presence on the most typical Campania recipes, as well as being one of the main ingredients of the rich salad that is eaten on December 26th. It is a small and slightly crushed pepper, with a fleshy pulp and a ribbed shape. It has an intense flavor, well defined and sweet, but in some areas of the province, spicy versions are also cultivated. The papaccella is cultivated mainly in the Vesuvius territory, in particular in the municipality of Brusciano. Its wide range of colors and shades – from dark to bright red, from dark green to yellow-green, up to a wine shade – creates a unique spectacle on the stalls of Neapolitan markets. In addition to preparations in oil or in vinegar, the papaccella is often inserted in special Campania recipes to prepare pork dishes, or stuffed and baked in the oven.
Those who go to Naples must not miss visiting one of the excellent pastry shops in the city and have breakfast with a flaky, freshly baked sfogliatella: one of the most celebrated Campania desserts, its thin and crispy wrapper contains a creamy filling made of semolina and ricotta, flavored with orange, cinnamon, and vanilla. It seems that the sfogliatellas were created in the monastery of Santa Rosa in Amalfi, which developed, among other things, a variant: the “santarosa,” enriched with cream and black cherry. In 1818, Pintauro gleaned its secret and, turning his tavern in via Toledo in Naples into a patisserie, he spread its production in the soft and flaky version. For certain, they are a small miracle for the eyes and the throat. The pastiera, which cannot miss on the Easter table of Neapolitans even if its production is spread out between November and spring, is one of those Campania desserts born from the popular inventiveness: a crust of shortcrust pastry stuffed with ricotta, wheat cooked in milk, candied fruit, orange blossom water, and eggs. Finally, the Baba, a very iconic and regional dish from Campania cuisine: a soft and buttery paste soaked in rum, which is as synonymous with Campania as the view of Naples is with Vesuvius. Though this sweet that has entered into the current lexicon [“you are a baba” is the most common local compliment], is actually of Polish origin. It comes in all sizes: tiny, slightly larger than a thimble, small, large, mushroom-shaped or donut-like, simple or enriched with whipped cream or covered with sour cherries or fresh fruit. Typical of the Christmas holidays are the struffoli: a small mountain of fried dough balls held together by honey and covered with diavolilli (colored sprinkles). If instead you are visiting Benevento, the classic gastronomic souvenir from the city is the nougat prepared with hazelnuts of the “mortarella” variety typical of High Irpinia. The nougat of Benevento, white and solid, is a gluttony of ancient origin: the Latins called it cupeta and Martial quotes it in one of his epigrams. The good taste of this dessert from Campania comes from honey and fine local hazelnuts, which are part of the traditional recipe along with sugar and egg white. However there are historical nougats, between the Benevento and the Avellino area, which offer tasty and refined variations: thin or mignon, with almonds, covered with chocolate, filled with sponge cake and liqueur.
The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated January 6 with a national holiday in Italy, and the tradition of La Befana are a big part of Italian Christmas celebrations. Epiphany commemorates the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts for Baby Jesus. The traditional Christmas holiday season in Italy lasts through Epiphany.
Like children around the world, kids in Italy as well, look forward to the arrival of the red-suited Babbo Natale on Christmas Eve. However, this relatively modern tradition pales in comparison to the anticipation generated by the arrival of an old witch in early January. For Italians, La Festa dell’Epifania on January 6th is as significant a holiday as Christmas Day; especially for Italian children!
According to the Italian legend, La Befana, a witch-like woman riding on a broom, refused to join the Wise Men on their journey to see the baby Jesus. When she regrets her decision, she sets out to bring gifts to the Child but never finds him. Instead, she leaves gifts for other children. Italian children leave out their shoes or put up stockings for the Befana to fill on January 5th, Epiphany Eve.
And the legend continues that every Epiphany Eve, the old, tattered and soot-covered Befana flies around the world on a broomstick and comes down chimneys to deliver candy and presents to children who have been good during the year. For those who have fallen a bit short of model behavior, la Befana will leave lumps of coal. Knowing that all kids can’t be perfect year-round, some shops in Italy sell carbone or black rock candy that actually looks like pieces of coal… so even those not quite perfect can still enjoy a sweet treat.
Unlike Santa Claus, La Befana has been an Italian tradition since the XIII century and comes from Christian legend rather than pop culture.
The arrival of la Befana is celebrated with traditional Italian foods such as panettone and marks the end of the long and festive holiday season in Italy. In honor of the Three Wise Men, Italians go to church and enjoy spending the day with family.