Southern Italy

Naples Style Pizza at Home

Naples is considered the birthplace of pizza. It started in the late 1700’s. Early pizzas had things like tomatoes, cheese, anchovies and garlic on them. In 1889 after Italy became unified, King Umberto & Queen Margherita visited Naples. Chef Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi and his wife created a new pizza for the Queen and named it after her. It was to have the colors of the Italian flag: Red – tomato sauce, Green – Basil and White – Mozzarella Cheese.

This pizza was not known outside of Naples until around 1940’s. Today it can be found all over the world. The original style, still made in Naples, uses a wood burning oven (between 600 & 750 F), 00 pizza flour, live yeast, fresh basil, EVOO and buffalo mozzarella cheese. It is thin crusted and light. Each person gets a whole pizza, which is NOT sliced and eats it with a fork and knife or takes a slice in the streets of Naples in paper. It was street food for the poor.

 

ORIGINAL NAPLES PIZZA RECIPE:

Making the dough:

Mix flour, water, salt and yeast. Pour a liter of water into a dough making machine, dissolve 50-55 g of salt, add 10% of the total amount of flour you are planning to use, then dissolve 3g of yeast, and start mixing gradually adding the remaining 1.8 Kg flour until the dough reaches the desired texture and consistency, defined as “Il Punto di Pasta”, smooth to the touch and very extensible .

Rising:

Let the dough rest on a marble slab or a wooden surface for 2 hours covered with a damp cloth and then divide into individual ball-shaped portions of 180 grams each.

Set aside in a container to rise for a second time for 4-6 hours at room temperature.

Rolling:

Use your hands and with a round motion roll out the dough on a marble slab covered with flour until it becomes 3 mm thick with a 1-2 cm edge.

Filling:

Take about 60g to 70g of chopped tomatoes and using a wooden spoon place in the center of the disk of dough.  With a spiraling motion, spread the tomato over the surface.  Then add a pinch of salt on the tomatoes, 80 – 100 g of DOP buffalo mozzarella, cut into strips and some basil leaves. Again with a spiraling motion starting from the centre, add 4 to 5 grams of extra virgin olive oil.

Cooking:

Cook in a wood- brick oven at a temperature between 450C° to 480C°, rotating the position of the pizza frequently to make sure the heat is spread evenly.

Eating method:

Use your hands and enjoy the taste of Italy!

 

Our Pizza:

Often, we make our own dough, but today we were testing some prepared doughs from both Trader Joes and Publix Supermarket. We also make our own pizza sauce from marzano tomatoes, but sometimes you just have to have a quicker alternative:

Dough Balls from Trader Joes and Publix

Sauce – Premium Organic Paesano Tomato and Basil (available at Costco)

Buffalo Mozzarella from COSTCO

Fresh basil from our supermarket

We brought the dough to room temperature, divided it into two balls and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then on a floured surface, we pressed the dough out in all directions from the center to form a circle. You then grab a side of the dough and pull out and fold back over your hand to increase the size of the pie. This is continued all around the pie several times until it is the size you want (around 10”). The center should be paper thin and thicker around the edges. The Trader Joe’s dough was the best to work with and had the best results, forming a larger pie without tearing. The Publix dough was a bit more delicate, but also made a very good pizza.

Next ladle some sauce on pie in center and spread it out in circles around pie. Then season the sauce with Parmesan cheese and garlic (if desired). Next place the fesh basil and finally the Buffalo Mozzarella cheese. Then sprinkle some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) over the top.

Pre heat your oven to 500-550 with a good quality pizza stone in it. After it reaches temperature wait another 15 minutes to allow stone to reach the temperature. Use a pizza Peel to slide the pie onto the stone. It should only take about 5-6 minutes to cook. The edges should be brown and check bottom so it doesn’t get to dark.

The crust edges should be crispy but the bottom center should be soft. Take pie out of oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing or serve whole like in Italy.

If you are doing a second pie, allow oven to reach temperature again before putting it in.

Enjoy…

 

Below is a video VLOG of us making this pizza …

 

– George & Jo Febish

Categories: BLOG, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Cheese, Cooking, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Food, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Naples, Pizza, Ristorante, Southern Italy, VLOG, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puglia, Italy

Puglia is a region of Italy in the south-east corner including the heel of the boot. The YouTube videos below are of Puglia and some of its more interesting cities:

Polignano a Mare is a great small city on the Adriatic coast. This is the location of the famous cave restaurant Grotta Palazzese.

Locorotondo

Alberobello

Ostuni

Cisternino

Puglia is a wonderful place to visit. We drove so we could fully see the beautiful countryside. Enjoy!

Ciao,

– George Febish

Categories: Adriatic Sea, Alberobello, Beaches, Cave, Cave Restaurant, Cisternino, Driving in Italy, Europe, General Travel, Grotta Palazzese, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Locorotondo, Ostuni, Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Ristorante, Romance, Sassi, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Tulli, VLOG, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Interesting Stories that take Place in Italy

These stories are true and happened to myself and my wife, Jo Anne in Italy. The first three are funny and the last is informative. Travel, especially to Italy, is all about stories and experiences. We have many experiences in Italy. These four stories are a few of them.

Enjoy traveling, Enjoy Italy and have fun. You will never forget your experiences, your trips or your stories. Please watch the video below to hear our stories:

-George Febish

Categories: Casal Velino Marina, Driving in Italy, Europe, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Parking Meters, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Vallo della Lucania, VLOG | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How we spend our time in Italy

We recently went to Italy to spend a relaxing time at our condo in southern Campania. Normally we take an extra week and travel to some other area of Italy but this time we just wanted to relax at the beach and enjoy Italy. This is a story about our local area, the people and the food. It is also a story about how Hurricane Irma caused us to have the longest trip home ever.

Watch the video VLOG below and follow us through this interesting trip to the mezzogiorno:

– George

Categories: Airplanes, Autostrada, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Benvenuto al Sud, Blue Flag Beaches, Buffalo Mozzarella, Casal Velino, Casal Velino Marina, Dolce, Driving in Italy, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Fish, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Planning a vacation, resorts, Ristorante, Romance, sea, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, WiFi, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I would See Italy

People always ask me, “What order would you see places in Italy?” All of Italy is great! You can not make a bad decision! Everyone that has been there has an opinion. This BLOG/VLOG is mine. I would see the famous big cities first because they are important. So the order would be:

  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Naples

But Milan, Siena, San Gimignano, Positano, Capri … are also important places to see.

The only rules I have are:

  1. Take your time in each place. Don’t rush and try to see all of Italy in a single trip. You will only see the inside of busses and trains.
  2. Sit at outside bars or trattorias and observe the people (non tourists) around you. Begin to understand Italian life.
  3. Try to communicate with locals.
  4. After the big cities, go to small resorts and mountain towns.
  5. Eat where the locals eat. DON’T EAT AT TOURISTY PLACES!
  6. Stay in small Italian hotels.
  7. Go on your own not with large tour groups. If you must use a group, keep it small.

Traveling to Italy is meant to be fun. So enjoy it! Watch our YouTube video below for more tips:

– George Febish

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Bars, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Capri, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Il Palio, Italian, Italy, Milan, Mountain Towns, Museums, Naples, Pantheon, Pasta, Pastry, Positano, Ravello, Regions of Italy, resorts, Romance, Rome, Saint Francis, San Gimignano, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Tuscany, Uffizi, Umbria, Vatican, Vatican City, Vatican Museum, Venice, VLOG, Walking, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Wonderful Foods of Italy

There is a lot to say about the food of Italy and its all good. Except for very touristy places, the food is fresh, well prepared and delicious. Italians love their food and so does the rest of the world. You may think you know Italian cooking because you eat in Italian restaurants in England or America or your parents were Italian but it is not the same as what is served in Italy.

Italy’s restaurants serve local fresh foods usually organic. The dishes are simple but extremely tasty. It may be a simply cooked meat or fish over a grill fire or a pasta cooked al dente with a wonderful sauce or fresh vegetables. You can eat well in any non touristy ristorante or Trattoria. These places pride themselves in the food they prepare and serve.

Come with us as we talk about the different foods around Italy. It is not just pasta and pizza. Our YouTube video below explores these wonderful foods.

 

– George J Febish

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Bars, Beaches, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Capri, Cave Restaurant, Cheese, cornetto, Dolce, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Fish, Florence, Food, Fruit, Gelato, General Travel, Grotta Palazzese, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Lemoncello, Limoncello, Marina Casal Velino, Naples, Palinuro, Pasta, Pastry, Perugia, Perugina Chocolate, Pizza, Positano, Prosecco, Puglia, Regions of Italy, Risotto, Ristorante, San Gimignano, Southern Italy, Sweets, Traveling without a tour, Trottoria, Truffles, Umbria, Vegetables, VLOG, White Truffles, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Beaches of Campania, Italy

Everyone loves a good beach and Campania (southern Italy) has some of the best beaches in Italy. From Naples through the Amalfi Coast to the Cilento National Park in Southern Campania are great beaches. The Amalfi Coast is world renowned but the beaches are black lava stone. The Cilento National Park in cities like Marina Casal Velino and Ascea (both of these we have done YouTube VLOGs on) have white soft sand beaches.

These beaches have clubs and public beaches. The public beaches are free and you can bring a blanket or lounge chair and umbrella. The clubs give you two beach chairs and a table and umbrella for a fee. Some clubs provide music and free WiFi. They also usually have a restaurant that serves good food. You can order a wine, beer or prosecco in a glass on the beach.

The beaches of the Amalfi Coast are very touristy and people from all over the world go there. The beaches of the Cilento National Park are touristy for Germans and Italians. These are major summer beach resorts especially in August when most Europeans are off from work.

Come see these beaches with us in the YouTube video below:

– George Febish

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Beach Resorts, Beer, Bike Races, Blue Flag Beaches, Casal Velino Marina, Champagne, Eating, Europe, Food, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Marina Casal Velino, Naples, Prosecco, resorts, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ravello, Italy

Ravello is a beautiful mountain town above the Tyrrhenian Sea & Amalfi on the famous Amalfi Coast.Ravello is a 13th century city built-in Moorish style. The gardens at Villa Cimbrone are beautiful and provide the best panoramic views of the sea far below. Villa Rufolo is another beautiful estate visited by many tourists.

From Amalfi take the bus by the ferry docks up to Ravello or a taxi. The road winds itself up a steep incline to reach the city at the top. As you get off the bus or taxi you are outside the city walls. Walk through a tunnel in the old wall to reach the city center. Villa Rufolo is on your left. The main piazza and restaurants are straight ahead. The tourists information is to the right and Villa Cimbrone is to the left at the very end of the city.

Ravello is easy to navigate as it is not very large and there are only a few streets. Allow time for the two villas. Plan on luck outside in the piazza. On a hot day have a gelato in the piazza. As you leave Ravello and travel back down to Amalfi, you know you have just left a very special place. from Amalfi you can catch a bus to ferry to Positano, Sorrento, Naples or Salerno and a ferry to Capri.

Come walk with us through beautiful Ravello and Villa Cimbrone in our YouTube video below…

– George

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Capri, Eating, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Mountain Towns, Positano, Ravello, resorts, Romance, Salerno, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Taxi, Towns, Travel Guides, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, Villa Cimbrone, Villa Rufolo, Villa Rufulo, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amalfi, Italy

Amalfi is located on the Amalfi Coast between Positano and Salerno. It is a major stop on the ferries from Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Positano and Salerno. The city is small and surrounded by mountains. The seaport is where the ferry or bus lets you off. You walk through the ancient walls into the main piazza. Your first site is the steps leading up to the cathedral and the fountain in the piazza.

Amalfi can easily be seen in a half day to a day. Many tourists then take a taxi or the bus up the mountain to Ravello, our next vlog. Now come walk with us around the town of Amalfi in our YouTube video below:

– George Febish

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Campania, Capri, Church, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Mountains, Positano, Ravello, Romance, Salerno, sea, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Campania, Italy

Campania is in southern Italy below Rome. It includes famous areas like Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Campania has wonderful Blue Flag Beaches and some very interesting mountain towns. You have everything thing here including: museums, beaches, mountains, great food & wine and friendly people.

We chose this area to have a second home and have fallen in love with it. Come walk with us through several towns in the great region.

– George

Categories: Agropoli, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Anacapri, Ascea, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Benvenuto al Sud, BLOG, Blue Flag Beaches, Blue Grotto, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Capri, Casal Velino, Casal Velino Marina, Castellabate, Cilento, Cooking, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Ferries, Food, Funicular, Gelato, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Lemoncello, Marina Casal Velino, Marina di Camerota, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Museums, Naples, Palinuro, Pioppi, Pizza, Positano, Regions of Italy, Romance, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Stairs, Towns, Trains, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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