Eating a leisurely Italian meal is one of the pleasures of traveling (and living) in Italy. Italians in general and Neapolitans specifically are very passionate and opinionated about their food and tend to take it very seriously. Each region within Italy has one or more specialties that they are very proud of.
Understanding how Italians traditionally eat will help you get the most out of your dining experience. Traditional Italian menus have five sections. A full meal usually consists of an appetizer, first course, and a second course with a side dish. It’s not necessary to order from every course, but usually, people order at least two courses. Traditional meals may last one or two hours or even longer. Italians often go out for a long Sunday lunch with their families and restaurants will be lively. It’s a good chance to experience Italian culture. Italians tend to eat late with a typical dinner starting around 8pm or later depending on the time of year.
There are many great restaurants all around Naples not only in old town but also surrounding areas. Neapolitan dishes contain fresh produce and carry strong flavors from the sea and ingredients enhanced by the sun and fertile soil of the land. For many that have lived or visited here, some venues emerge as veritable institutions, strictly interwoven into the city’s cultural fabric, and each celebrates the stars of Italian gastronomy, pizza, coffee, sweets and deep-fried street food. Eating out in Napoli is a truly wonderful experience.
The links below are a helpful start in beginning to understand the Napoli dining culture:
Tripsavvy – Dining Out in Italy
The Best of Naples
Like a Local Guide – Naples
Tripadvisor – Naples
Rick Steves’ – Why I Love Eating in Italy
Travelstart – Italy Eating Guide