Just returned from a hectic few days in Napoli that just so happened to coincide with a Pizza festival.Mmmmmmmmmm.
Took a flight to Rome and jumped on the very efficient (300kph) Eurostar to Napoli for lunchtime.Headed right to my hotel for a couple of hours rest before heading out for a leisurely 10 min. stroll to the festival site.This is an evening only annual event where about twenty something local Pizza makers set up shop and compete for the attention of the local cognoscenti.If there is one place in the world that the competition is fierce for pizza,it's rightfully here at the birthplace, Napule.For the nominal entrance fee of about 7 euro you get to indulge in choice of any pizza /beer /coffee/limoncello combo that you desire - now this is what I call fast food !Greater value for under $10 bucks I've yet to find..........Anywhere.
This is my first time back in Naples in nearly 30 years,so it was particularly nice to stumble into this clearly family friendly event,with many strollers and happy faces evident.
About 23 portable ovens (Acunto) are set up around the perimeter of the arena, all with an equal playing field.The setting is outdoors and surrounds illuminated fountains with ample room to relax a enjoy the atmosphere.There is a large stage area set up as well as strolling musicians adding their spaccanapoli style influence to the aura.
I circled like a Hawk, numerous times,before deciding upon where to take my first actual Neapolitan is oh so many years.I settled upon La Collina.It was a difficult choice,but they had the best looking pizza and the best looking crowd ! I wasn't disappointed.Having said that,I probably wouldn't have been that disappointed with any of them really.Unfortunately I had got extremely ill the minute I stepped of my flight in Rome,so didn't have the stomach to sample anymore,but I had the good fortune to know that I had a few more days ahead of me,and that the "Best of the Best" were not actually at this event.I had a Palm Pilot full of names and addresses,and I know that I wasn't even going to scratch the surface this week.
To be honest I had expected a bigger representation from the industry such as Oven makers / Flour Mills / Cheese Makers etc.but I guess that this is just not that type of event?I didn't notice many forein accents in the croud with the exception of a number of Japanese visitors,though that didn't surprise me.