On my last trip to Naples, I mentioned how I was disappointed by the quality of the pizza at i decumani.
After reading Eat, Pray Love, I became intrigued about the pizza place Elizabeth Gilbert visited and described so incredibly. I did a quick online search and found that, actually, Pizzeria da Michele (mik-yel-eh) was popular before Julia Roberts!
We arrived at 7pm and there was already a big queue and took tickets to wait for a table, essentially a very unItalian, but organised system of queueing. Once we got in I was shocked by the place. The decor was stark and it looked like one large bathroom on the inside and from the outside it looked like a kebab shop that dabbled in pizza, burgers and a bit of everything! The menu was simple and only listed pizza margherita and pizza marinara (without cheese) and drinks were limited to soft drinks, water and beer. The prices were CHEAP and I’m talking Bolivia-cheap, with a standard Marg costing €4. The place was filled mostly with locals, which was a good sign and there was a discreet picture of Julia Roberts displayed by the cooking area.
The wait for the food was quite long, but it was a busy night (Saturday night) and O M G it was incredible. I’m not really very discerning when it comes to food and in general I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘foodie’ but this was the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. The dough was fresh and crispy, the tomato sauce was rich and sweet and the cheese was great. The best thing was definitely the dough, which you could see being made right in front of you, before the whole pizza was put into the wood-burning oven. It was really nice to see that Michele wasn’t cashing in on the fame of Eat, Pray, Love and had kept their prices and decor the same; the only thing they ask at the end is for a tip, which, considering the outstanding quality of the pizza, is merited!
I’m so glad I tried this place and I’d recommend it to all who are visiting Naples! I can’t wait to return again next spring, when I’ll be working up an appetite after climbing Mount Vesuvius 😉 Michele, I’m coming for you!
Pizzeria da Michele, Via Cesare Sersale, 1-3, 80139 Naples, Italy, it is very close to the main train station, Napoli Centrale.