Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sat October 24 2015

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | October 24, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Princess and the Pie: La Notizia

    Princess and the Pie: La Notizia

    Photos by Shannon Wolf

    When you realize you’re late for a date in Napoli — that is standard… When you jump on the back of a stranger’s moped to get there — that’s commitment. When you arrive, there’s a line but you order some wine, say cheers to life, eat three pies — you’re so happy you could cry; that’s amore! (Or something like that.)

    Dean Martin’s song “Amore” may not have been written exactly like that but it would have been if he experienced the night we spent in Napoli.

    PHOTO: When you walk into Enzo’s Pizzeria, you feel as though you’ve stepped into a home rather than a restaurant. The vibe is cozy and it feels like a giant family!

    It all started when the bus never came (Thanks Italy).

    Jasmine and I got ready and left early in order to make it to La Notizia at 10:30 p.m. We stood at the bus stop at 9 p.m. and were told it would be 20 minutes late. Twenty minutes turned to 40 and 40 turned into an hour. After an hour we briefly got on the bus, but had to disembark to follow the Google Maps instructions to walk up steep inclines on uneven roads.

    We walked…and we walked…and we walked…until we reached a wall.

    Google Maps somehow forgot to mention that in order to make it to La Notizia, we would have to first walk through the wall, traverse a pitch-black forest in a not-so-nice area and then teleport to the pizzeria up the hill.

    Well, I don’t have wings and teleportation wasn’t available so we had two options. Turn back or be creative. We took the latter. 

    I don’t know if it was because we hadn’t eaten all day, or because we didn’t want to stand up Enzo, the pizzeria owner who so graciously invited us, or because we were already halfway there, but turning back was not an option so we decided to attempt hitchhiking the rest of the way.

    The first person that offered us a ride sat in the passenger’s side of a beat-up white car, with well-known gang tattoos covering his face, down his neck and past his wife-beater shirt while his friends snickered in the background as they stared us up and down. We thanked them for their generosity but proceeded to walk back to a more well-lit area in the hope that we would actually make it there alive.

    After some time went by and no cars passed, we walked up to a pizza stand asking the drivers our age if by chance they knew a viable option to get to the top of the hill as they stood leaning against their mopeds.

    Within seconds, Jasmine and I were on the back of pizza-delivery mopeds with our dresses and hair blowing vigorously in the wind as we sped through the darkened hillside of Naples trying to make it as fast as we could to Pizzeria La Notizia.

    It felt like a twisted version of Cinderella in Italy: Trying to make it to the pizza before the clock struck midnight. Once they dropped us off, Jasmine and I burst out laughing at our luck and high-fived before smoothing down our wind-blown hair and walking in.

    Unbeknownst to us, we laughed too soon because the joke was on us. There was more than one Pizzeria La Notizia and the one we were meant to be at was further up the hill. “Persistence overcomes resistance?” I half questioned and stated. We looked at each other and then sprinted up the rest of the hill until we reached the top.  We were out of breath, sweaty and our ribs were hurting from laughing so hard.

    It only took two hours to arrive but MA MA MIA! We made it and it was worth it.

    PHOTO: The biggest lie you can tell yourself is that you will only eat one slice. We ate everything you see. No regrets — not even one.

    Our experience at La Notizia left us feeling like real life Cinderellas: going behind the scenes to speak with Enzo, watching how each pie was carefully and lovingly crafted by the pizzaiolo’s and then, like clockwork, being served a bottle of their quality wine, two specialty pies that were not on the menu, the classic Margherita D.O.P and then desserts, all so mouthwatering it left us feeling euphoric.

    The first pizza we sampled was a specialty made vegetarian pie consisting of buffalo mozzarella, grated caciocavallo podolico cheese, “funghetto” eggplants, green peppers, semi-dried cherry tomatoes, green beans and basil. The combination of vegetables and cheese was rich but sweet with a wonderful consistency and not overly soupy — leaving you able to pick up the pizza (unlike Pizzeria Di Matteo).

    The second pie was a work of art, which truly can’t be duplicated. This pizza consisted of yellow piennolo tomatoes, oregano, anchovies, black olives, minced parsley, basil, garlic and a special orange-infused olive oil from the Amalfi Coast.

    Not only was it visually appealing both in colors and textures, it was a wonderful pairing of flavors. Not something I would have been typically brave enough to order, but it changed my mind about putting fish on pizza. The anchovies were HUGE and utterly unlike those you find in North America.  There was no stereotypical fishy taste and they were appropriately juicy. The orange-infused olive oil from the Amalfi Coast paired beautifully with the rest of the pie’s ingredients!

    PHOTO: It’s one thing to eat a pizza. It’s another to see exactly how it’s made at a famous pizzeria right before it’s put on your plate!

    For our third course, we had the classic Margherita D.O.P consisting of San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, grated pecorino cheese, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

    It literally tasted as if each ingredient was hand-picked right from the garden and felt like a slice of home (no pun intended).

    It was the perfect balance of chewy, cheesy and crunchy, with a sweet tomato sauce and was simply incomparable. The only words that came out of our mouths were “wow”, “oh my…” “Whoa” and “this is actually better than sex.” Needless to say, out of all the Margheritas I’ve eaten, it won first place, hands down.

    Lastly, in the midst of a pizza-coma, we were given a mouthwatering dessert called Saltimbocca — a soft bread filled with warm and oozing dark chocolate and Nutella that could make any bad day go away as quickly as it came.

    The clock literally struck 12 and we practically rolled out of our chairs, feeling drunk on food and wine — both happy and full beyond words.

    We may not have ended our story with prince charming but who needs a prince when you’ve got pizza?

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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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