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Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar was created by Alfonso Muras, who looks this healthy because he grew up eating pizza in his home town of Naples.

Moving to Australia in 2009, it took Alfonso a few years to discover Newcastle, where he finally felt a casa (at home).

The only thing missing was the authentic, wood-fired pizza of his youth, so he flew back home to Naples and trained with expert Neapolitan pizzaioli (pizzamakers), learning the traditional techniques that make Neapolitan pizzas so special and so damn tasty.

Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar opened in April 2014, the first and only pizzeria in Newcastle to make authentic, wood-fired pizza just as you would eat in Naples – made with the same Neapolitan and Italian ingredients and using the same techniques, with a focus on simplicity, quality and flavour.

The restaurant takes its name from the main train station in Naples, capital of Italy’s southern Campania region and the city that made pizza world-famous. 

Napoli Centrale is also the name of a ’70s band that mixed traditional Neapolitan music with rock and jazz, starting a musical movement called Naples power.

The musical reference is important to Alfonso, a professional and classically trained musician.

You’ll find him playing his bass guitar at Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar most Sundays, when the house band – affectionately dubbed The Fonzies – jams from about 6pm for an hour or two.

Pop in, say ciao and sit down for a vera pizza Napoletana (true Neapolitan pizza).

Pizza Margherita was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to create three pizzas in honour of the visiting Queen Margherita. She preferred the pizza with the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella).

For Neapolitan pizza it is compulsory to use San Marzano tomatoes. Legend has it that the first seed of this tomato came to Campania in 1770 as a gift from the Viceroy of Peru to the Kingdom of Naples, and that it was planted in the area near the present commune of San Marzano. They were first grown in volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. In the United States, San Marzano tomatoes are the genetic base for the popular Roma tomato.

Pizzas have been sold on the streets of Naples since the 16th Century.

When eating at a pizzeria, a Neapolitan, be it a man or woman, eats an entire pizza. Why? How? Because the dough and toppings are light, so one doesn’t feel overly full, and it is a healthy meal. And, quite simply, la pizza e’troppo deliziosa!

Contrary to popular belief, marinara does NOT contain seafood. Rather, it was made by the wives of mariners – without cheese, so it kept longer at sea.

In 1866, Francesco de Bourcard wrote a two-volume book titled Traditions and Customs of Naples. He cited two recipes older than the Margherita: the first had oil, finely chopped garlic, oregano, and salt, with the extra topping option of white bait; the second pizza had grated parmesan, seasoned lard and basil leaves and was named “mastunicola”

Writing about Naples in 1835, French author Alexandre Dumas noted: “We deceive ourselves strangely. The Neapolitan of the lower class [known as “lazzarone”, a peculiar poor class of Neapolitans] is not wretched; for his necessities are in exact harmony with his desires. What does he wish to eat? A pizza or a slice of water-melon suffices.”

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