The best traditional trattorias in Naples not to be missed

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.

‘A LUCIANELLA

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.

The 13 best things to do in Naples

Naples is one of Europe’s largest and oldest cities. It’s a chaotic, surprising and intense place stuffed with character; modern life and history clash on every street. More so than any spot in Italy, your mantra whilst there will be eat, pray, pizza (and football), sleep, repeat. With sunny islands, ancient history, beaches and a volcano, there’s enough here to fill an entire summer break—especially as you’re likely to lose track of time while wandering through ramshackle alleyways stuffed with the world’s best pizza.

Best things to do in Naples

Visit Pompeii

What is it? You know about Pompeii already, of course, but it’s genuinely overwhelming
in real life. Its perfectly preserved streets manage to remain eerie despite rivalling the footfall of Oxford Circus on a Saturday.
Why go? Always good to have a reminder that humans are ultimately at the mercy of Mother Nature. Few things say carpe diem like the plaster cast of a corpse who was looting a jewellery shop.

Explore Herculaneum

What is it? Pompeii may have got all the glory but nearby settlement Herculaneum also got completely engulfed by lava, and revealed even better-preserved scenes of everyday Roman life. A row of 12 boathouses, for instance, which were excavated in the 1990s, turned out to be the final hiding place of more than 300 people.
Why go? Though still popular with visitors, you get a bit of personal space at Herculaneum. All the better for getting to grips with the astonishingly old suburbia you’re exploring.

Pay respects to the pizza gods at Sorbillo

What is it? One of the few things that all Neapolitans can agree on is that they make the best pizza. You can get the signature chewy, crispy dough all over town but you have to start somewhere, and that should probably be La Pizzeria Sorbillo.
Why go? Gino Sorbillo’s dad was one of 21 siblings, all of whom were pizzaiolo. His dough is totally trad but – very unusually for Italy – he messes with convention on the toppings.

Drink like the locals in Piazza Bellini

What is it? Like a meeting post for the young and thirsty of Naples, this bar-lined square bubbles over with students, locals and tourists come aperitivo time (and beyond). There are also some ancient ruins left casually unprotected in its centre.
Why go? The walls at Intra Moenia are covered with rows and rows of vintage postcards and curios. Buy one to send home then claim a table outside to sit back and sip while the crowds gather.

Drink coffee in Mexico

What is it? Popular with everyone from local workmen to holidaying hipsters, Caffè Mexico in Piazza Dante is the best coffee bar in town. Stop in for an espresso, which in Naples generally comes sweetened unless you demand otherwise.
Why go? Its sunny yellow awning and bright orange espresso machine will perk you up as much as the caffeine does.

Go mad for the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (MADRE)

What is it? A world-class museum of modern art that’s named after the gothic fourteenth-century church that sits within its walls. Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina’s beautiful main building holds site-specific works by Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor and many other superstars of the visual arts.
Why go? You might, at some point, want to gaze appreciatively at something that’s not older than Italy itself.

Feast on fish at Mimì alla Ferrovia

What is it? It’s not just pizza that Neapolitans nail. This seaside city is awash with fantastic seafood, and Mimì alla Ferrovia is a great place to eat a load of it. As well as traditional food done right this local favourite also boasts excellent house wine and staff who could moonlight as Naples tour guides.
Why go? One of the restaurant’s many famous customers was legendary tenor (and food enthusiast), Luciano Pavarotti.

Go deeper underground at the Fontanelle cemetery

What is it? Beneath the heat and bustle of Naples’ streets is an old quarry that became a burial site in the seventeenth century when a plague took out 250,000 of the city’s residents. Though the Fontanelle cemetery’s piles of bones are undeniably unnerving, the local tradition of caring for a lost soul’s skull lends the place a very spiritual feel.
Why go? Watch for the odd Italian nonna on her way to tend to her designated skeleton in the hope of releasing its soul to heaven in return for a wish.

Get a breath of sea air on the Lungomare

What is it? A 2.5km strip of pedestrianised road that runs along the seafront, providing the perfect stress-free route for a stroll. Stop for lemon granita at the beach kiosks, claim a rock to sunbathe on or stop for a sundowner.
Why go? The views of Mount Vesuvius, Capri and Naples itself are spectacular. Add in a colourful sunset and it could be a Studio Ghibli set.

Experience Catholic grandeur at Gesù Nuovo

What is it? Over in the west of the city a spacious piazza is home to the almost brutalist-looking facade of a church called Gesù Nuovo. Its ridiculously opulent interiors will have you wondering whether it wasn’t only Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen’s hair that was Jesus-esque.
Why go? Learn more about Dr Giuseppe Moscati, who dedicated his career in the early nineteenth-century to healing the poor. Thanks to a miracle or two he was made a saint in 1987.

Watch a match at the San Paolo Stadium

What is it? The only belief system to rival that of the church in this town is football, and its much-loved poster boy is Diego Armando Maradona. Go to San Paolo Stadium to watch SSC Napoli and you’ll likely be rewarded with a world-class match; they play in Italy’s top league, Serie A. 
Why go? When surrounded by 60,000 fans all chanting for a common goal you’re guaranteed goosebumps. Remember to make the pilgrimage to Bar Nilo afterwards to visit the reliquary containing a strand of Maradona’s hair.

Take the funicular to Castel Sant’Elmo

What is it? Though you’re not likely to need the metro during your visit, it’s worth seeking out the funicular lines that shunt residents up to the hilly suburbs. Their colourful carriages are used by 10 million passengers per year.
Why go? For the panoramic views from the top. Take the line from Montesanto to Morghen then walk to the medieval Castel Sant’Elmo. The tangle of Naples city centre’s buildings is framed by the sea on one side and Vesuvius on the other.

Take a boat to Procida

What is it? Of the Bay of Naples’ three islands, it’s Capri that is most ridiculously beautiful, but that also means it’s constantly smothered in tourists. Ischia offers thermal spas, but it is Procida’s charming colourful houses and cobbled streets that make it the off-the-radar offshore choice.
Why go?  Procida seems to want to keep its secret to itself, although it’s popular with napoletani looking for a summer escape from the steaming, chaotic city. .