- Ai Marmi, Rome
- Mamma Rosa, Ortezzano
- L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Naples
- Antico Forno, Venice
- Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, Naples
- Di Matteo, Naples
- Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente, Naples
Every nation has their own notable food staples which are legendary on its own. Most people think that ‘Italian food’ is just about pizza, spaghetti, calzones, and gelato. But, it’s just a very tiny part of the much bigger picture. Italian cuisine is all about using the freshest ingredients and making bold flavors complement each other. It’s humble with recipes passed down from one generation to another. Its more than a delicious food served on a table, families also celebrate the history and loving memories of those created the dish. Italian means fresh, delicious, world-class food that is both humble and fulfilling.
With that in mind, when someone mentioned Italy, one thing comes to mind – great pizza. Many nations had been topping the simple flatbreads for centuries. But Italians make it even more special in creating the term ‘pizza’ about 1000 AB near Naples or Rome. However, this 18th-century peasant delicacy was made front and center of Italian cuisine when it was first made for Queen Margherita in 1889. The Queen and her husband King Umberto toured Italy and wanted to taste the peasant dish. Her personal chef created a simple yet flavorful version to suit the Queen’s taste. The chef won her over in creating the dish with the colors of the Italian flag. They incorporated the colors red (tomatoes), green (basil), and white (mozzarella).Queen Margherita immediately fell in love with the new twist of the peasant dish and gave us the Margherita pizza we love today.
Today, pizza becomes the front and center of many international cuisines, but none took it more seriously than the Italians. They even formed a governing body to protect the integrity and taste of their beloved pizza. The True Neapolitan Pizza Association (TNPA) was formed 1984 to uphold the authenticity of Neapolitan pizza. With that in mind, these pizzerias serve the best-tasting pizza you can eat in Italy.
Ai Marmi, Rome
This place is actually named Panattoni but its famous unofficial name goes as Ai Marmi (“marbles”) after its marble counters. They serve classic Roman-style pizza with its remarkably thin, charred, and crispy crusts with cheesy and saucy bread. You can immediately tell the place for its crowded line and cafeteria style seating. Make sure to try the salsiccia e for di Zucca topped with sausage and zucchini blossoms. But people line up for their classic Margherita take on the pizza.
Mamma Rosa, Ortezzano
Mamma Rosa rose to pizza stardom after Gambero Rosso nods its Neopolitan-style pizzas. It’s ultra-crispy crusts paired with perfectly stretchy dough and topped with fresh local ingredients. Everything on the menu is all insanely good, but there best sellers include the Margherita with red chilies and anchovies to contrast the flavors of tomatoes. Also, try their Lucifero, topped with hot salami and hot peppers. What set Mamma Rosa apart from the others are their Nutella pizza, that just right for a perfect Italian dessert – second to gelato of course.
L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Naples
If you are a book lover sort of person, then it would be good to know that the author Eat.Pray.Love, Elizabeth Gilbert had notable mention this pizzeria in Italy. Pizzeria da Michele had served the purest, simplest way of Neapolitan pizza since 1906. They only have two pizza the marinara and Margherita, but they are so heavenly above description. The pizzeria lived to the “The world’s best pizza” description, as they served the mile-long queue in front of their doorsteps.
Antico Forno, Venice
Antico Forno served one of the most satisfying deep dish pizzas that chewy and thick but still captured it Roman-style origin. Unlike the usual pizzeria in Italy, they serve single slice wood-fired pizza and each one has a very flavorful tomato sauce topped with seasonal ingredients like olives, mushrooms, red cabbage and the ever-present buffalo mozzarella. Try their one of a kind calzones.
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, Naples
One true certified pizza lover, and not by name, Gino Sorbillo is a third generation pizzaiolo who’s making waves in Italian cuisine. He inherited his grandfather’s Naples pizzeria that has been around for almost a century. To keep the family tradition alive, he did not just perfect making the best pizza, he continues to find ways making it taste even better and more accessible to people. He recently opened his second New York pizzeria with plans setting up another establishment in Milan. Although his pizzas are world class, it still has it a humble recipe for the soft-crust pizza topped with freshest local tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella.
Di Matteo, Naples
Another local favorite, Di Matteo serves one of the world’s best pizzas. It’s been in the pizzeria business since 1936, just one year shy of the Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo. With the almost a century of making pizza, rest assured this is one pizzeria you don’t want to miss while in Italy. They offer table service but also serve busy workers on the street. They can easily wrap up a fresh-out-of-the-oven pie in their signature white paper for just a few euros. Don’t forget to get their deep-fried pizza fritta, a mixture of ricotta, and provolone cheese.
Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente, Naples
Last but not the very least, the most iconic Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente which was named after Bill Clinton stopped to taste their pie back in 1994. It’s one of the most identifiable pizzerias in Italy with its chewy, stretchy crisp crust that is classically Neapolitan. They can make any pizza you want but you would not want to pass on their bestselling marinara and Margherita perfection pizza.
As they say, when in Italy, do what Italians do, and you’ll never forget the memories of your travel especially if you just satisfied your pizza cravings.