A Pizza Pilgrimage to Campania’s Oldest City
Every week, we take a look at the history and cultural importance of the places we visit, taking you on a journey through time and back to the origins of what it means to be Italian.
The ancient city of Naples is the capital of southern Italy, and its museums are among the world’s most important. But in early October it feels like an entirely other creature—a bustling city of ancient streets and monuments, where you’ll find hundreds of vendors and a thriving art and food scene. Along the route, you’ll experience Neapolitan traditions, and perhaps be lucky enough to enjoy a piece of Neapolitan pie or one of their other specialties, like tiramisu.
To get a feel for this city, I traveled around Italy with Rome-based travel blogger and food writer Laura Balsamo, who led us on a trek through the historical center of Piedmont to Campania’s largest city, Naples. Balsamo gave us a guide to the history and culture of Naples, and we met up with her in her apartment to check out the city’s sights and eat some of their specialties along the way.
The trip started in Rome. We spent a day in the ancient center, touring the Colosseum and admiring the Colosseum as a monument of ancient Rome. Balsamo took us to the Pantheon, which is an underground church which has been turned into a religious building, complete with a massive dome and walls covered in frescoes. We also visited the Vatican Museum and the Trevi Fountain. Then, the three of us drove north to a couple towns in Piedmont.
The first stop was at the town of Bassano del Grappa, a picturesque place that dates back to the Roman Empire but has survived in its old style of medieval towns. Balsamo took us to see the Roman amphitheater, a stone amphitheater with a cave in the center of the center and a beautiful waterfall on the edge of the amphitheater.
While we were in Bassano, Balsamo took us to Campania’s largest city, Naples. As we drove up to Naples, we could hear the music, which was coming from the small area of the city that has kept the Neapolitan traditions alive. We passed by the streets that were just lined with palm trees, and the streets we passed were wide and lined