Whenever the word pizza is spoken, there’s no way around it, your mouth starts watering. No matter where you are in the world, there will always be a slice to be eaten. Do we all know pizza’s origins and history? I don’t think so. But do we really need that? I don’t think so either. So let’s cut straight to it and discover a little about where you can taste that history instead.
Consider pizza as a big umbrella term, which sums up a lot of different styles. In Italy there are various different types, but we can roughly divide them between “Napoletana”, “gourmet”, “Romana tonda”, “Romana in teglia” and finally what we can call “new wave.” So without further ado, let’s dig in.
Simone Padoan is the Master behind I Tigli, quite an unusual pizzeria located in San Bonifacio, near Verona in the region of Veneto. In his restaurant, Padoan invented a whole new style of pizza never seen before, characterized by particularly light dough cut in slices and topped with top notch ingredients, assembled and paired as if it was a fine dining dish.
Take for example his eel pizza with coffee kombucha, agretti and beetroot tartare or the one with Fassona steak, spinach, fior di latte and guanciale: to put it simply, Padoan has unlocked the role of pizza and brought it to a whole new level.
At his pizzeria in the Italian capital of Rome, Jacopo Mercuro managed to raise awareness about this forgotten style of pizza making and refine it to perfection (well, almost!). The “Tonda” represents one of the two Roman pizza styles, the round, thin and crunchy one.
180g Pizzeria Romana is a powerful mix of physical satisfaction and intellectual effort. Most memorable are the Pizza Bianca loaded high with fresh mortadella, the salty and sweet fried production and the round pizzas such as the Prima, with Porchetta, wild chicory, bufala and EVO oil, or the Best part of the Lasagna, which recalls flavours from the traditional Italian dish. Pure talent, expressed in a genuine and informal way.
Just a few years ago, no one could have predicted that a tiny village like Caiazzo in the middle of Campania mountains could become the world’s center of pizza. Here, walking down a narrow road of ancient stone stairs you’ll find yourself in a surreal dream, the one imagined by Franco Pepe. He’s a third generation pizza master, who combines the highest quality produce with an outstandingly soft dough, working closely with farmers and producers but also with nutritionists and chefs, in order to constantly improve the level of his creations in every aspect. Masterpieces which have already made history include Pepe’s “Margherita Sbagliata” or the fried pizza “Ciro”, both of which are best if paired with his latest creations such as the “Bufalo Tonnato” or the “Peperone Scomposto”. Above all, to enjoy your pizza tasting menu even more, you can sleep in one of the two rooms available, designed by Pepe himself. A real must-try, in order to understand the meaning of “Italy”.
Pizzeria Oliva da Concettina ai Tre Santi Chef: Ciro Oliva
Neapolitan pizza masters are multiples and many of them feel a deep sense of belonging to a style or another, modern or traditional.
But probably no one manages to merge the two like Ciro Oliva.
In the regenerated popular neighborhood of La Sanità, in Naples, he inherited not only his family’s pizza traditions, but the whole Neapolitan one, and is widely recognized as one of the most important masters in town. At Concettina, pizza is both traditional and modern, as creations like the “Margheritissima”, the rich “Fondazione San Gennaro” or the “Costiera” with lemon zest, bufala, basil and pepper can testify. Get here early – queues are a daily occurence – then sit, drink, eat and enjoy the beautiful and powerful energy which Napolitans can bring.
Bonci is the Roman god of the “pizza in teglia”, the second and perhaps more famous type of Roman pizza, which is basically square or rectangular slices. The ever-growing queues outside Pizzarium confirm his popularity. Bonci also bakes one of the greatest bread you’ll ever taste (which you should do, if you possibly get the chance). Toppings are endlessly combined and the quality is high, but don’t make the mistake of missing his famous take on Supplì (fried rice and pasta) as well, which are very satisfying.
Edoardo Celadon Born in 1997, Edoardo is an Italian Chef and content Creator. He promotes a Tasty, Complete, Happy, Healthy, Sustainable and Natural table. Continuously exploring the World, with a focus on his native land, in search of “Graceful ingredients to be cooked with Love, fulfilling the Soul.” He previously contributed to Luxeat Insider with his piece: “The grand tortellini debate or Don’t mess with the Nonna!”