Naples Walking & Food Tour
Whether enjoying a Sunday lunch in famiglia or a Friday night pizza, Naples is an undeniable food town. To understand Naples, one must understand the topography or her neighborhoods. The verticality of this town means that each zone has its own culture, cuisine and dialect. As the old Neapolitan dictate goes, eat ragù in landlocked Forcella, broccoli on the agrarian hilltop of Vomero and mussels in the seaside borgo of Posillipo.
Much of this has changed since World War II. The culinary strictures of the town have blurred and one can eat a good ragù almost anywhere. At the same time, seasonality and sense of place are what make Naples the unique culinary capitol she is today. Visit a more tourist trafficked town, and you will be hard pressed to find the tattered trattorias decorated with the obligatory fraying poster of Sophia Loren and football giant Diego Maradona eating spaghetti at the Last Supper. The same trattorias where an old woman is liable to yell at you for ordering the wrong thing and then bring you a generous bowl of chicken cacciatore instead of that stupid salad you thought you wanted. Food is no joke in Naples and that is part of the fun.
Navigating the old vicos and quartieris of Napoli can often be challenging. When you enter an old neighborhood where you don’t happen to live, a network of old men playing cards, housewives hanging laundry and scooter boys spring into a surprisingly organized spy network. They want to know who you are and what you are doing on their vico. Of course they won’t ask you this. In fact, you might not even notice the fishmonger and his wife eyeing you curiously. But they know you are there and within in minutes they will have silently deduced whether or not you are up to no good. If they think you are ‘roba buona,’ good stuff, they will treat you as such. If you happen to be a vegan or a Juventino, the entire neighborhood will have been silently cautioned against your impending arrival.
Meeting these crazy old souls is part of the joy of eating here. Dining in old Napoli is in equal parts maddening and rewarding. That is why we offer the curated culinary tours that feature not only Neapolitan dishes but the Neapolitans who make the food you eat while here. It is impossible to appreciate Naples with her hidden lanes, secret wine cantinas and sensual red sauces without knowing a bit about her history and her people. Cuisine, language and culture have evolved in Naples as Greeks, Romans, Normans and Bourbons have occupied and governed her over the past 2,700 years. To fully explore this delicious culinary mélange, Sauced & Found tours cover a lot of territory. And we eat a lot of food!
We begin our walking tour with a famous nocciolato caffé, whipped hazelnut coffee, at the historic il Vero Bar del Professore, former watering hole of Neapolitan intellectuals and anti-fascist resistance leaders. We then wander down the bustling Via Toledo, sampling fried pizza, stuffed with flecks of cured pork and ricotta at Zia Esterina Sorbillo. After a constitutional stroll, we pass through the vibrant Pignasecca Market, stopping for a cuppetiello of fried fish at the Pescheria Azzurra. Finally we make our way up by funicular to the hilltop neighborhood of Vomero, also known as ‘broccoli hill’ by the locals. In Vomero, you will tour the ancient Antignano Market, tasting farm fresh fruits along the way. You will also stop for a wine tasting at a local enoteca. The tour ends with an authentic Neapolitan lunch at Kristin’s favorite Trattoria Malinconico.
Come hungry and experience Napoli as the locals do.