Monday, 13 February 2017

A Roman street and Neapolitan pizza from Pizzeria I Decumani........ just perfect

We were in Naples and having chosen not to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum I suppose we felt more than a little guilty.

Walking the Roman street
After all here were those two Roman towns frozen in that moment back in 79 AD when Vesuvius erupted.

But there is only so much you can do in a week.  That said given my love of all things Roman I did feel a little that I had done something wrong.

But Tina knowing how I have felt came up with the Roman remains under the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore.

The church was built at the centre of the ancient Greek Roman city where today the via San Gregorio Armeno crosses the via dei Tribunali and underneath there is about half of an original Roman market which has been excavated over the last 25 years.

Just as at Pompeii you can walk down the main street past a collection of shops including a bakery, winery and laundry, step over the grooves used to drain the basins of dye and bleach and call at the offices of the tax collector.

A little further down the street are seven interconnected rooms with barrel vaults pierced by skylights designed to draw in the air and sunlight.

And in some of these rooms are the shop counters and wall niches along with at least one iron grill which would have protected the windows along the street and a selection of mosaic floors.

Now I grant you it lacks the size of Pompeii and today is deep beneath the streets of Naples but it still is a powerfully evocative place with the added bonus that you are almost on your own walking the 3 metre wide street which runs off for 54 metres offering you a slice of Roman life.

Pizzeria I Decumani
Now that did for me, particularly as it was only minutes away from the Pizzeria I Decumani.*

And of course if you want a pizza there is no where better than Naples.
The two most popular ones were packed out with long lines of hungry tourists waiting patiently outside but we had asked the local fruit seller on the corner of Via dei Tribunali who suggested Pizzeria I Decumani which he reckoned was not only the best but was where he ate.

Now it was midday and the place was full but we gave our name and sat outside in the small area opposite the shops and within the space of  five minutes were inside and ordering.

An as it happens the pizza I ordered
What came was a pretty spectacular pizza and one that cost just €3.50 compared to the €12 we had paid the day before in Sorrento.

So all in all a good day made even better by those narrow Neapolitan Streets with their tall buildings and drying washing hanging from the balconies, which is a story for another time.

*Via dei Tribunali, 58 80138 Napoli Italy‎ +39 081 557 1309

Picture; of the Roman street, "Scavi san lorenzo maggiore01"  and the rest  from the Pizzeria I Decumani

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