Naples Sanità and its Food

Food is everywhere in Naples, fresh and inviting in a great display on the numerous “Pasticcerie”, “pizzerie,” “chiosco” and everything in between. 

Naples is street food par excellence! And this is an indisputable fact. Every corner of the city hides a nice and characteristic place where you can taste a culinary specialty. The choice is vast: from the typical dishes of the Neapolitan tradition to the most exotic dishes. In recent times, moreover, culinary experimentation has come a long way in the streets of Naples, and it is therefore frequent to find traditional products revisited in a completely new way.

Above pizza and the Polpo (Octopus) all Luciana, a delicious dish with octopus stewed with fresh tomatoes 

If you are courageous you can try the FRIED pizza. It is folded and fried instead of oven cooked. I do not think I would be able to eat one, the normal pizza fills me up more than needed already.

On the last day of my visit, the Rione “Sanita’” is another must-see. Slightly less crowded than ”Spaccanapoli,”but as colorful and unique. The Rione Sanità is located at the foot of the Capodimonte hill, a short distance from the historic center.

It developed urbanistically from the seventeenth century, starting from the construction of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità, becoming the area chosen by Neapolitan nobles and bourgeois for their homes. In the eighteenth century, its streets became the path of the royal family from the city center to the Reggia di Capodimonte.

The route was particularly tortuous, so it was deemed necessary to construct a direct link, the Ponte della Sanità, thus causing the isolation of the neighborhood. This is why the perception is that of a suburb in the center of Naples. 

From degradation to the recovery of an immense and hidden heritage, in a neighborhood that has always shown a propensity for art and creativity.

Espresso home delivery via scooter, driving with one hand only, but the helmet!!!

Since 2000, the arrival of the new pastor of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità has marked the beginning of a process of requalification and enhancement of the historic-artistic and human heritage of the neighborhood. In fact, with the help of foundations, professionals, and associations it has been possible to create opportunities for redemption for young people.


And it is here in the Rione Sanita that the Pasticceria Poppella resides. 

From the bakery to the ”tarallificio” to a chic Pasticceria.

The historic Poppella brand was born in Naples, back in 1920, from Raffaele Scognamillo and his wife Giuseppina Evangelista, who, in those years, had started the business of bakers in the popular Rione Sanità. After the difficult years of the Second World War, in 1960 the management passed into the hands of his son Salvatore and, in 2005, into those of his son Ciro, the third generation of Poppella.

With the passing of the baton from Salvatore to Ciro, the gastronomic offer is enriched with the best Neapolitan desserts, identifying the Poppella brand as a synonym of quality and goodness. However, in 2015 thanks to Ciro’s intuition to make a cake that could be good, simple and, at the same time, cheap. The laboratory produces a white cream with a delicate consistency, based on sheep’s milk ricotta and fresh cream: the ideal filling for soft brioche with a light taste. Thus was born the “snowflake (fiocco di neve), the sweet cream covered with confectionery sugar that drives everybody crazy.


The Fontanelle ossuary was one of the quarries from which the tuff was extracted to build the city of Naples, used until the seventeenth century. A few years later, however, the Fontanelle cavity was used to house the remains of victims of plague epidemics (1656) and cholera (1836), in addition to those from churches.

The Fontanelle ossuary used for epidemic victims in the 17th century. It was a turbulent century for Naples; In 1631 there was a terrible eruption of Vesuvius; In 1647 there was the revolt which gave rise to the brief experience of the Neapolitan Republic; In 1656 a plague epidemic decimated the Neapolitan population, reducing it from 400 thousand to 200 thousand inhabitants

The cemetery of Fontanelle is best known for the cult of “pezzentelle” (in Italian “pezzente” means beggar, outcast, but with the modifier pezzente-elle, the word takes a more compassionate meaning), it is the adoption and treatment of abandoned skulls in exchange for thanks. Once the skull to be adopted was chosen, it was cleaned and placed in a marble case or, for those who could not afford it, a box. The soul of the chosen skull and the person who had adopted it communicated through the dream: the deceased asked for prayers, bestowing graces or numbers to play on the lottery in exchange.


The Palazzo dello Spagnuolo is one of the main examples of Neapolitan Baroque, built in 1738 and designed by the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice, at the behest of the Marquis Nicola Moscati. Of great visual impact is the monumental staircase with hawk wings and the chromatic choice of yellow and green.


Posted by

I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s