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Pizza at Da Michele, Naples Italy

A fresh Margherita pizza comes out of the oven at Antica Pizzeria da Michele, in Naples, Italy.

This popular local pizza joint always had lines out the door, but the fame grew enormously after being featured in a certain best-selling book (followed by a movie). It's the antithesis of the philosophy that you should give the customer whatever they want. For generations da Michele has served only two types of pizza – Marinara, and Margherita. The drinks menu consists of beer, Coca-Cola®, or sparkling water. With no reservations possible you are seated when enough spots open up for you group, often at a communal table. Yet the crowds continue to que, and local workers leave with take-out boxes stacked high, because da Michele serves one of the best pizzas in Naples (you'll have to decide for yourself if it's THE best).

With fame has come expansion. There are now locations in Rome, Milan, Barcelona, London, two in Japan, and even one in Los Angeles.

Why don't you see Spaghetti and Meatballs on menus in Italy?

If you order spaghetti (or tagliatelle, or any long pasta) in Britain, Germany, or just about any country outside of Italy, you'll inevitably be given a large spoon to twirl your pasta on the fork. I've eaten in hundreds of restaurants in Italy, and not once have I been given a spoon. Being given a small plate for olive oil and balsamic, to dip your bread, is a sure sign that you're in a restaurant aimed at tourists. I've never seen an Italian do this.

The Local, a great resource for those interested in English language news about Europe, runs down seven myths about food in Italy.

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