Tis Returns to Italy! Day 82: Third and Best Neapolitan Pizza Experience
Day 82 became the third and possibly the best of my tasty pizza explorations in Naples!
Before arriving in Naples, I had been told by my new friend Sarah that I must take the funicular up to enjoy the best view of Napoli. So today I considered it. This morning I evaluated my choices. I could take a ride to the top of the mountain in what is likely to be a rickety old cable car that will terrify me so I can look down on this sprawling city where all the action is happening, or I could stay here in the middle of the action. I chose to stay amidst the action.
Instead of sightseeing, I headed out to try another Neapolitan pizzeria, Da Attilio. Both Luciano and my pizza-loving friend Scott had said that while it is a deliciously tough choice, Pizzeria da Attilio is probably their favorite pizzeria in Naples. As Luciano and Scott’s recommendations have not let me down yet, I headed towards the Pignasecca Market where Pizzeria da Attilio is located.
Being a super fan of pizza like myself, Luciano knows Attilio Bachetti. Attilio is the pizzaiolo behind the pizzeria. Luciano called ahead and told Attilio what pizzas to make for me. When I walked in, I did not expect to see Attilio standing at his over just to my right, across from the cash register. He was quietly making pizzas for the customers seated at tables just past his pizza oven.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like that. Most of the famous pizzaioli I know back in NYC as well as Sorbillo here from two days before, are either supervising or not around. Not Attilio. He is right there, working in the trenches, making the pizzas himself.
Third and Best Naples Pizza Experience!
I told him that Luciano had called ahead and was supposed to give him recommendations for what pizzas I should try. He said he had ordered two pizzas, a margarita and marinara, confirmed the choices, and offered to make me one pie split in half as they had at Sorbillo. I thanked him and anxiously awaited my pie. After the first bite, I think I knew that I had found my favorite spot. While it was a simple pizza, in true Italian style, everything about it was perfection from the tasty sauce, the perfect amount of quality cheese to the perfectly baked crust.
Later as I told Luciano about my experience, I shared that I was surprised to see Attilio making the pizzas himself. I asked if he was always there and Luciano confirmed that he was. I expressed my surprise, saying that many of the best chefs in the world, including pizzaioli, do not get in the trenches daily, churning out pies. He said that everyone that knew him had the same opinion of Attilio. He was known to be a kind, humble man now and always had been.
Simply the Best
After several absolutely fantastic pizza experiences this week, I agreed with Luciano’s and Scott’s preference for Attilio. While the quality at all the pizzerias was incredible, this was my favorite pizza. It was also my favorite pizzeria. The whole experience was just ideal, from the simple but excellent pizza to the low-key environment and finally, being able to watch the humble pizza master hard at work.
If you ever find yourself in Naples, don’t miss a chance to eat at Attilio’s. You are welcome.