- Culinary walks
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|2-7 people||Piazza Bellini ->||~5 hours||10am|
|Porta Capuana||Mon – Sat|
Quick bite: From the signature local pastry, sfogliatella, to iconic street foods, this is a full-day feast of Naples’ best bites in the picturesque old market streets of the city, among the locals.
Naples is at once a sophisticated ancient metropolis littered with monuments of art and architecture, a city dramatically perched between Mount Vesuvius and the sea, a place of palaces, the hometown of pizza. But unlike many other Italian cities with such a formidable legacy, Naples is not an open-air museum.
Naples is a gritty and loud, beautiful and rough around the edges, accessible and exotic – in a word, charming.
This is a city with a pulse so strong and a culinary heritage so divine that after spending time in Naples we’ve found ourselves wondering: why don’t all roads lead here?
On this culinary walk, we’ll contrast the narrow cobblestoned alleys of Centro Storico, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with what lies beyond the old city walls in the thriving old neighborhoods that crowd Naples’ historic gates. We’ll start in a third-generation pasticceria for a Neapolitan coffee and sfogliatella, a pastry first created in a Catholic convent near Naples, follow by the famous baba au rum. We will then plunge into the traditional food shops, stopping for a quick limoncello in a most unusual place before a snack of classic, seasonal Napoli street food and, of course, there will be pizza in more than one form. We’ll then move beyond the walls into a very different area teaming with local life and market streets. We’ll stop into a baccaleria, where salt cod is king, before sampling the healing waters of Vesuvius at a kiosk in the market. We’ll meet three sisters at their vegetable stand and sample some of the famous tomatoes grown around the famous volcano. We’ll visit a family-run bakery, where we will make our own Neapolitan caponata, a salad made with the bakery’s special bread, called freselle, mozzarella and heirloom piennolo tomatoes.
Shopkeepers, bakers, olive sorters, home cooks, vendors and the last traditional sign painter of the market are all part of the warm community we’ll be welcomed into. On this walk within and without the city walls, we’ll spend the day experiencing the everyday food traditions served up with the superlative hospitality that is the hallmark of the Neapolitano.
Fee includes everything consumed on the walk. Some special features:
|Visits a residential neighborhood||Includes market visits|
|Visits the old city||Children welcome|
|Many, but not all, stops can be altered for vegetarians||Alcohol sampled|
|Terrain fairly flat/ Stroller – friendly|
What is included in the fee?
In addition to your Culinary Backstreets guide, all food consumed on the walk – more than a dozen different edible specialties – are included in the price. A limited selection of alcohol is served on the walks and is included in the price.
Why is the Culinary Backstreet tour more expensive than some other walking tours?
Our approach is different than most tour companies. Each of our culinary walks is the outcome of considerable research. We work with academics in the field and our own team of experienced professionals – both guides and local journalists. Our ongoing publishing of articles, from restaurant reviews to features about the intersection of food and culture, constantly feeds new material into the culinary walks, so they evolve and constantly improve. Though costly, we believe that this is how to create the quality experiences we strive for.
We practice honest tourism and would never accept a free lunch or any sort of commission. On the contrary, we are proud to know that the money spent during the culinary walk goes to support businesses that we believe in, helping to preserve the social and cultural fabric of the cities we love so dearly.
How does the payment process work?
Once you have made a reservation, we require the full $135 fee to be paid in order to complete the online booking. Our online booking system uses Stripe to process secure payments.
What is your cancellation policy?
100% will be refunded if given 1 week notice prior to walk and 50% will be refunded if given 72 hours notice or more.
Are your walks public or private? How many people are on them?
Our walks are 2-7 people and are open to the public. If you would like to do a private walk, we may be able to arrange one for an additional fee. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.
Can I get a discount if I join more than one walk?
Yes, we offer a 10% discount to those who join more than one walk. Please email us at [email protected] if you’d like to join multiple walks.
Are your walks suitable for people with food allergies?
This can vary based on a number of factors, including the food item in question. Please email us at [email protected] to discuss your situation before booking.
Are your walks suitable for vegetarians, pescetarians, and vegans?
This walk does include a couple of stops where non-meat dishes will not be available, however, at most stops a meat-free option is available.
Are your walks suitable for a gluten-free diet?
The Napoli cuisine is not very suitable for a gluten-free diet.
How physically demanding are the walks?
This walk covers a couple of kilometers of fairly flat terrain. It is not physically strenuous.
Can children join the walks?
Of course! We offer a 50% discount to children ages 12 and under, and we do not charge for children under the ages 6 and under.
Can you pick me up from my hotel? How will I return, once the tour is over?
Our tour prices don’t include transportation. If you book a tour, you’re responsible for arriving to the pre-arranged meeting spot on your own.
Once the tour is over, we will help you get an authorized, safe taxi to your hotel, or provide directions on public transportation, if you’re interested in that.
How much food will I get to try?
This is really up to you. We generally make between 9 and 12 eating stops on our walk and try to include some breaks from eating along the way. The price includes as much food as you’re open to trying. We offer a suggested portion size at each stop and you can take our recommendation if you’d like. Our walks often involve street food and sharing food.
Is Naples safe these days?
Yes, we find Naples a very safe place to explore. We do hit some crowded markets and always suggest that you keep important valuables and passports at your hotel.
A Neapolitan tonic on the brink of extinction, gassosa dall’acquafrescaio blends fresh-squeezed Sorrento lemon juice, sparkling volcanic water, and baking soda to create a frothy “eruption” in the glass (a wink to nearby Vesuvius). … Where to get it: An unnamed kiosk by Porta Nolana gate featured on the Culinary Secrets of Backstreet Naples walk. Read more
Culinary Backstreets […] will take you far beyond the ancient walls on a dream blend of exercise and calories. Read more
The most interesting thing about taking the Culinary Backstreets tour is that it managed to combine these classics with unknown specialities that you would be hard pressed to discover on your own foodie walk around the city. … The blend of must eats and impossible to find local eateries is an amazing introduction to the city’s unique dining history and modern way of eating. Read more
Our day started with food historian Amedeo Colella giving me an overview of the history of Naples and the changing nature of modern tourism over a pot of Neapolitan brewed coffee and a still warm from the oven sfogliatelle. I am partial to the messy sugar dusted multilayered version, but I gave the more restrained frollo (a kind of cookie dough crust) one a try too. Our view was fragments of an ancient Greek wall that predated the Romans and the soundtrack the classical cacophony of the nearby conservatory practice rooms. Read more
Naples born and bred, Amedeo never ceases to extol the virtues of Neapolitan culinary history and the producers that keep it alive. A tour guide with Culinary Backstreets, which runs small group food tours around the world, he knows everyone here by name. Read more