Everyone knows of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but UNESCO also has a list of "intangible" cultural heritage that encompasses traditions and skills that aren't physical places or monuments, but are a distinct part of the cultural heritage of a place nonetheless. The Cuban rumba dance, a whistled language in Turkey, and the art of dry-stone walls in Europe are a few examples. As UNESCO puts it: "the intangible cultural heritage is transmitted from generation to generation and is constantly recreated by communities and groups, in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history.” In essence, they are ongoing traditions that connect the past to the present, and in some cases are at risk of disappearing in the future.

One intangible heritage that is known around the world is the pizza culture in Naples, specifically the skill of the pizzaioli who make the famous food. It's a delicious art that goes back centuries, with Naples being the epicenter of Italy's pizza heritage. It takes a long time to carefully stoke and maintain the fires that fuel the wood-burning ovens, and the pizzaioli have to get the dough just right - whether they do the theatrical tossing and spinning of the dough to form the crust or not, it must be formed by hand, and topped with those sun-sweetened pureed San Marzano tomatoes. Whatever other toppings you may choose, the area's prized mozzarella di bufala really makes the Neapolitan pizza something special.

But what qualifies it for UNESCO status is the skill that goes into it, a craft learned through apprenticeship or small classes by master pizzaioli. There are an estimated 3,000 pizzaioli in Naples, who UNESCO says provide a link to the city's past. “The culinary know-how linked to the making of the pizza, which includes gestures, songs, visual expressions, local slang, the ability to handle the dough, show oneself off and share it is an indisputable cultural heritage.

Where to eat a piece of this cultural heritage? We're glad you asked! Here we give you a few of our favorite pizzerias in bella Napoli!

The street Via dei Tribunali is a sort of one-stop pizza venue, with some of the city's stalwart pizzerias located there. Acclaimed brotherly pair Gino e Toto Sorbillo, and their cousins' Antonio & Gigi Sorbillo are both operating on the street where their grandfather Luigi started off the family business, the pizza dynasty still going strong with his many descendents. Fino Sorbillo has been hailed as the "world's most famous pizzaiolo." At Via dei Tribunali 94 is Di Matteo, widely touted and visited by dignitaries, including former US president Clinton. Then there is Donna Sofia with its time-honored classics along with whimsical shapes like a star, a racket and a sweet dough basket with nutella. (At Via dei Tribunali 89.) There are several others along this street, so you definitely can gorge yourself without leaving this 'hood!

Branching out, we told you about Pizzeria Brandi and its history. Another super-famous pizzeria is Da Michele in Via Cesare Sersale, was started in 1870 and has been going at it generation after generation ever since. They offer only two types - Marinara and Margherita, and is called the "temple of pizza," which is really all you need to know. In Via Speranzella 84, just a couple of minutes' walk from the Galleria Umberto, is Pizzeria Speranzella, with 36 types to choose from along with a trio of fried pizzas, perfect every time. Near Piazza Plebiscito is the hole-in-the-wall Pizzeria Pavia, where their motto is "It's not gourmet, it's Pavia." No-fuss, classic, delicious. (Via Solitaria 34)

Of course, this is Napoli - and there are more pizza places than you can possibly try in a lifetime. But you can sure sample as many as you want with no effort!

Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!

Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Pizza in Naples? Ask them here!

Have a look at our apartment rentals in Naples.