We're back with our series Inside Atlanta—each week, we sit down with influential locals to talk about what Atlanta means to them. Today we’re chatting with Luca Varuni of Varuni Napoli. A native of Naples, Italy, Varuni opened his Morningside pizza gem in 2014. Varuni prides himself on honoring the tradition of true Neapolitan pizza, while being a jovial host to anyone who walks in the door. Soon he’ll be splitting his time between the Morningside and Varuni Napoli’s upcoming location in Krog Street Market opening this winter.
When he’s not turning out pizzas he’s out exploring the city. Today we get a tour of The Big Peach led by Varuni himself.
I live in… “Virginia Highland, and love that it’s very vibrant and community-centric– not to mention full of great bars and restaurants; and in close proximity to the Beltline and Ponce City Market.”
I Wish People Knew… “there’s an entrance to the BeltLine behind Varuni Napoli off of Monroe that not many people know about – it leads to a quiet and relaxing part of Piedmont Park. Sometimes you can find me in that part of the park flying the drone (I’m a bit of a drone aficionado).”
You Can Find Me… “I love visiting Inman Park. Some of my favorite restaurants are located there and it’s really cool to see it growing so much.”
It’s Dinner Time, I’m Headed to… “I’ve been loving Ticonderoga Club recently. They have a great variety of dishes from fish, to steak, and everything in between.
My favorite menu item there is the sweetbreads. I also really enjoy some of the Atlanta institutions like Bones Steakhouse and Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead.”
Clock Strikes 5’o clock, I’m Drinking… “I’m Italian, so my drink of choice would of course be a Negroni. In terms of my current favorite bar, Ticonderoga Club also has an excellent drink menu and bar ambiance.”
If I had to Stay in a Hotel, I’d Check Into… “The W Downtown. If I need to relax, I’ll go there for a massage or to visit the pool. It has one of the best views in the city.”
Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret is…“The unique identities of each neighborhood. It’s inspiring to see how each part of the city has grown and adopted a unique personality, from Virginia Highland to Inman Park to Buckhead, Midtown, East Atlanta and more.”
When I’m Playing Tourist I go to… “I always love taking out-of-towners to the World of Coca-Cola. It’s got such an inspiring story about how one of the world’s most successful companies began. The Zoo and the Aquarium are two other tourist favorites of mine.”
I Get My Sweat On… “You can’t beat the BeltLine for a walk in Atlanta.”