Mama Mia! Naples Lives Up to Its Name with Great Italian Restaurants

With a name like Naples, you might expect a heavy population of Italian restaurants. In the case of Naples, Florida, you would be right. A number of Italian-born and Italian-American chefs have made their mark on the local restaurant scene. This list cuts through the fierce competition to bring you the most popular and brightest stars in the genre.

The variety ranges from your standard issue pizza and pasta joints to fine dining experiences that draw on the Italian philosophy of simplicity, quality ingredients and pairing products grown and raised in the same region.

The newest Italian eatery on the scene, Osteria Tulia calls its brand of authentic cuisine and interior design "rustic farmhouse." It is situated on Fifth Avenue South, which alone counts a dozen or so Italian restaurants along a seven block strip. This list includes fine dining Alberto's of Fifth and the more casual, lighthearted Pazzo! among that particular roll call of Italian restaurants.

The list demonstrates the seriousness with which local Italian restaurant chefs treat their creations - from hand cut pasta to house made fennel sausage. Beyond Fifth Avenue South, it covers off the "eaten path" treasures from Bonita Springs in the north to Marco Island in the south. 

Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

The dining room at Arturo's may be huge and dramatically classic in style, but it is almost always full. Call many days in advance, even out of season, and expect to feel a bit crowded in. The menu is equally large, covering most of the...  Read More

Old Naples
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Pazzo! is one of the most reasonably priced Italian restaurants in Naples, particularly for Fifth Avenue South. The decor at this "crazy" (as the name translates) restaurant, purportedly one of the most exciting in town, is casual and modern...  Read More

Old Naples
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Have a seat in the European-style courtyard or make new friends at the communal table inside. Known for its authentic Italian pizza and gelato, it equally excels at a select menu of pastas, seafood, meats and sandwiches. This is cousin to Sea...  Read More

Sam-Bucco Bistro

Heavy on the Italian, the menu flexes beyond traditional with Turkish, French and other Mediterranean influences. The inviting atmosphere of earth tones, linens, low lights and heavy drapes feels as warm as the Mediterranean sun....  Read More

Old Naples
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

This class-act Third Street South restaurant occupies the historic Naples Mercantile Building and a pleasant Rome-reminiscent courtyard to its west. Inside, you will find an inviting dining area, spacious bar area and large, open kitchen...  Read More

Caffe dell'Amore
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

When Conde Nast Traveler magazine readers voted Naples #17 on the U.S. Cities for Foodies list, editors named Caffe dell'Amore as one of the reasons. Its off-Fifth strip mall setting belies an elegant, Old World atmosphere of linens and...  Read More

Whether it's your fantasy to dine under the Tuscan sun or the Florida moon, Sale e Pepe brings it to reality in a replicated, palace-proportioned, Italian-villa setting with an outdoor terrace. Perched on the second floor, it affords a...  Read More

Alberto''s on Fifth
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Torino-born Alberto Varetto created a sensation as the original chef at Sale e Pepe on Marco Island. He left several years ago to open his name brand place along dining hot spot Fifth Avenue South. The sensation continues in a sleek, sand-toned...  Read More

Angelina's Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

The kitchen's excellence stems from exquisite attention to detail – from a house-cured cherry in the Manhattan cocktail in the convivial bar to fanfare touches such as baby kale tucked in among the Caesar salad's romaine lettuce, citrus tomato...  Read More

Osteria Tulia
Photo courtesy of Osteria Tulia

The first dilemma: Sit al fresco and people watch along busy Fifth Avenue South or enter the embrace of "farmhouse chic" indoors, where repurposed barn wood creates warmth and character? Then the food ordering decision! Like the décor, the...  Read More


Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle

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