It was officially invented in Naples in the late 1800s, when restaurateur Raffaele Esposito— along with his wife Rosa (proving that behind every successful man ... etc. etc.)—created a three- color pizza as a tribute to Queen Margherita of Savoy. The white of the mozzarella, the red of the tomatoes, the green of the basil: in short, the Margherita we know today. Nearly 130 years (and hundreds of ingredients) later, the secret to the best pizza continues to be simplicity, as Italy’s master pizza makers teach us. One thing is certain: the success of the most famous Italian food continues to grow incredibly. For example, NASA commissioned a study for a 3D printer that would make it possible to blend powdered ingredients and water for the astronauts during their long space missions. It’s hard to believe that the avor will be anything like a Napoletana or a Quattro Stagioni kneaded by expert hands and baked in a wood-burning oven, but whatever.
Outside Italy, the United States is the homeland of pizza fans. The rst pizzeria on this side of the Atlantic opened in New York in 1905, and an American who orders pizza in Italy knows exactly what he or she wants. That’s why Daniel Young’s guidebook Where to Eat Pizza (Phaidon) is particularly useful, as he has selected over 1,700 high-quality addresses around the world. Here are a few recommendations if you’re passing through Naples or Palermo, in Italy’s food-loving south. Here you probably won’t find a pepperoni pizza—the most popular in the US—but we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed by the variety and taste.
Piazza Carità 2
tel. +39 081 552-4322
Open daily in the historic district of Naples, it offers delicious pizzas made exclusively with ingredients from the region of Campania. Tradition and strictly local food.
L’ANTICA PIZZERIA DI MICHELE
Via Cesare Sersale 1–3
tel. +39 081 553-9204
The recommended types are classics, like the Margherita and—for those of you who don’t want mozzarella—the Marinara. In fact, the expert selectors for the Phaidon guide guarantee that you won’t even miss it, because the tomato sauce, garlic, extra-special olive oil and oregano create the perfect balance of avors and simplicity.
Via Materdei 27–28
tel. +39 081 544-1485
One of the most popular addresses became famous thanks to So a Loren in the 1954 movie The Gold of Naples, but above all because of the goodness of a pizza prepared by the third generation of true artists.
Via della Concordia 1
tel. +39 092 167-9512
The owner is a stickler for quality and refuses to do things any other way, even at the cost of slowing down the pace of production: the dough is left to rise slowly, for at least 48 hours. This means that the pizza is softer and easier to digest, with the perfect degree of elasticity.
Via De Cosmi 13
tel. +39 091 507-9930
Those who have tried various pizzas here say that it’s hard to decide which one is best. But if we were forced to make a choice, the must-have is the Bufala Regina, with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes from Pachino, shaved Grana cheese and fresh basil.