I was going to go all out for my last dinner in Ischia – could I get through perhaps four courses: antipasto, primo, secondo, dolce? I was very keen to try one of Ischia’s most famous dishes – Ischian-style rabbit. While one might think that the only food on the island is sea-based, it turns out that rabbit is a popular meat there, with farmers raising them inland. After wandering through Ischia Porto and Ischia Porte for a while, I found Da Raffaele, which was one of the few restaurants that served individual portions of the rabbit. Many other restaurants require one to order an entire bunny in advance. Good, the place looked promising and busy and the restaurant’s location along Via Roma made for some fantastic people watching during my meal.

I started with Brushetta, that famous toast lavished with plenty of olive oil and beautiful tomatoes. I liked that you could order it by the piece here, perfect for the solo diner.


Pasta time! Linguine alle Vongole was exactly what I wanted. Perfectly al dente pasta with salty clams and sweet tomatoes.

Linguine alle Vongole

And here was my secondo of Coniglio all’Ischitana. Here, portions were stewed with olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, chilli, rosemary and parsley. It was delicious if a little freaky when served with its lungs and heart intact!

Coniglio all'Ischitana

I couldn’t fit in any dessert! What a shame – I bet their offerings would have been good!

Ristorante Da Raffaele
Via Roma, 29
Ischia Porto, Ischia
80077 Province of Naples

The next day, after a slow and leisurely breakfast, I checked out of the hotel, transferred to the ferry port and while waiting for the ferry, I ogled a nearby fruit stand.

Look at those stacks of cherries!


What an amazing variety of tomatoes! I wish I could have carried some back with me.


Anyway, a ferry ride and I was back in Naples. I caught the bus to the airport and then found myself there at lunchtime. Perfect. A Fratelli La Bufala (there are branches of this Neapolitan chain in London too) pre-security was a good choice.

I started with a small plate of the vegetables on display at the front. The tender dark green leaves of the Neapolitan Friarielli saltati were perfect – dark, bitter and so so moreish. Melanzana a funghetto was not with mushrooms as the same may imply but silky soft aubergine cooked with tomatoes.

Friarielli and Melanzane

A Margherita pizza was very good. Sure, it wasn’t da Michele but it was excellent for airport food.


Fratelli La Bufala
Viale Fulco Ruffo di Calabria
Aeroporto di Napoli Capodichino
80144 Napoli

I’ll just quickly mention here how fabulous the food was at Milan Linate airport too, where I changed flights both ways. Are all Italian airports like this? Ah, not just airports I’ve just discovered but also railway stations, highway rest stops and big downtown shopping districts – it’s the Ciao Ristorante! It’s self-service and affordable and the food is very very good indeed. All the airport workers lunching there were a good sign. Here’s some of my lunch on my flight out – bresaola with parmesan and rocket and a fantastic strawberry cake.

That’s it from Italy this time! All my photos from Naples and Ischia can be seen in this Flickr photoset.

It was about 4pm Thursday afternoon when we landed in Naples and 5pm when we dropped off our bags and went out in search of pizza. We needed to eat and fortify ourselves as my friend and I were soon off on a stag night and hen night, respectively (egads). My copy of Saveur featuring pizza in Naples had a good list of places in the old town and the hotel receptionist was adamant that the best on the list and the best in Naples was at Michele. So, to Michele we went.

The tiny restaurant was still empty when we arrived (just shy of 6pm) but started filling very quickly after we sat down.

Da Michele

A wood burning oven was sitting in the corner but we barely felt the heat from it (was there air conditioning?). A few pizzaioli were moving swiftly about, preparing the pizzas, slipping them into the oven and then whisking them out, all hot and steaming.

Wood Burning Oven

I love their very minimal menu. Two kinds of pizza (margherita and marinara), a few size options, a double mozzarella option and drinks – that’s it! We both had drinks and normal margherita pizzas.


Our pizzas arrived very quickly.


Mine was a thing of beauty. The crust was beautifully blistered from the intense heat of the oven and was amazingly tender yet chewy. Oh, it was delicious. How delicious it was.

Pizza Margherita

And I couldn’t get over how delicious the tomato sauce was; I can see now the point of a marinara pizza. While the cheese was excellent, I could see how it’s not always necessary!

Was it the best pizza in Naples? I have no idea as I’d need to try them all but I know that this was the best pizza I’d ever had (possibly). Highly recommended if you’re in Naples. A queue was already forming when we left so get in there early to get a table immediately.

Oh, and the hen night? Yeah, I survived (and even fit in a second pizza that night!).

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
Via Cesare Sersale, 1-3
80139 Naples