In 1870, the Condurro family began what was to become a long tradition of master pizza makers in the center of Naples. Michele Condurro, son of Salvatore, perfected the family art of pizza making, whose secrets he had learned from the famous masters in Torre Annunziata who were experts in the preparing and kneading of pizza dough, and the cooking of pizza.
Michele opened his first pizzeria in 1906 at the present site of Ascalesi Hospital, whose construction forced the pizzeria to move. In 1930, the pizzeria was transferred to its present location on Via Cesare Sersale, which has often been described by experts and journalists as “the sacred temple of pizza”.
Since then, five generations of master pizza makers have carried on the work of the founder, respecting the tradition and being faithful to Michele’s instructions: there are only two types of Neapolitan Pizza, the “Marinara” and the “Margherita”; and no “junk” should be used in making the pizza that could alter its world famous genuineness and taste. The secret of Da Michele’s enduring success is in the use of natural ingredients, and of an old, traditional, time-tested method of leavening pizza dough.
Who is Michele?
The man who, more or less consciously, incarnated the philosophy of Neapolitan pizza, was a small person and a man of humble origins.
He had a sharp look and a mischievous smile; he was an unusual person, particularly for his character, for his life but, above all, for the way he worked and appreciated his job.
One of his sons, master pizza chef Antonio Condurro, defined him as ‘an icon of the art of pizza’.
Michele was simply a 'pizza fanatic', just like Luigi Condurro, another of his 13 children, used to define him.
This was Michele Condurro, the famous master pizza maker, founder of the family of restaurateurs who, since 1870, have made Neapolitan pizza the cornerstone of their lives.
Eat, Pray, Love
- Elizabeth Gilbert
"He gave me the name of a Pizzeria in Naples ("Da Michele") that I had to try, because he informed me, it sold the best pizza in Naples. I found this a wildly exciting prospect, given that the best pizza in Italy is from Naples and the best pizza in the world is from Italy, which means that pizzeria must offer... I'm almost too superstitious to say it... the best pizza in the world?"
"Please go to this pizzeria order the margherita pizza with double mozzarella. If you do not eat this pizza when you are in Naples, please lie to me later and tell me that you did."
"At the pizzeria "Da Michele", the pies we have just ordered, one for each of us, are making us lose our mind. I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with the pizza, almost an affair."