Italy’s Best Pizza: A Guide to the Country’s Top Pizzerias and Regional Varieties

One of the most popular foods in the world, pizza has Italian origins. A world without pizza is difficult to imagine, and Italy is the place to go for the most delicious and authentic pizza.

Homemade Italian Pizza

Pizza from Italy is renowned for its thin, crispy crust, flavorful tomato sauce, and premium toppings.

In Italy, there are numerous pizza varieties, each with a distinct personality. The most well-known type of pizza is Neapolitan, which was invented in Naples and is distinguished by its straightforward toppings and soft, chewy crust.

Other well-liked varieties of pizza include Sicilian, which is thick and doughy and has a lot of toppings, and Roman, which has a thin and crispy crust. Whichever style you favor, you can be sure to find a delectable pizza in Italy.

Italian pizza is more than just a dish; it represents a whole culture. Italians take their pizza very seriously, and each region has its own distinct customs and methods for cooking it.

The native cuisine and culture, whether you’re in Sicily, Rome, or Naples, revolves around pizza. Therefore, Italy is the best destination for pizza lovers.

History of Pizza in Italy

Pizza has become a beloved food around the world, but its origins are rooted in Italy. In this section, we will explore the history of pizza in Italy, including the origins of pizza, Neapolitan pizza, and Roman pizza.

Pizza on Street In Italy

Origins of Pizza

The history of pizza in Italy dates back to ancient times, when flatbreads with various toppings were produced by different cultures.

The precursor to pizza was focaccia, a flatbread known to the Romans as panis focaccias, which was then topped with different ingredients.

The modern pizza as we know it today evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy, in the 18th or early 19th century.

Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan pizza is considered the original pizza and is still the most popular style in Italy. It is made with simple, fresh ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.

The dough is made with flour, water, yeast, and salt and is left to rise for several hours. Neapolitan pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven at high temperatures, resulting in a crispy crust and a soft, chewy center.

In 1889, the Margherita pizza was created in Naples, named after Queen Margherita of Savoy.

It consisted of tomato, mozzarella, and basil, representing the colors of the Italian flag.

Roman Pizza

Roman pizza, also known as pizza al taglio, is a rectangular pizza that is cut into slices and sold by weight. It is made with a thin, crispy crust and is topped with a variety of ingredients, such as prosciutto, arugula, and artichokes.

Unlike Neapolitan pizza, Roman pizza is cooked in an electric oven and is often served at room temperature. Roman pizza is popular in Rome and throughout Italy, and it is often eaten as a quick snack or lunch on the go.

The history of pizza in Italy is a rich and varied one, with different styles of pizza originating in different regions of the country. Neapolitan pizza and Roman pizza are two of the most popular styles, each with their unique characteristics and flavors.

Whether you prefer a simple Margherita pizza or a more elaborate pizza with a variety of toppings, pizza in Italy is a delicious and beloved food that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the world.

Pizza Varieties in Italy

When it comes to pizza, Italy is undoubtedly the birthplace of this beloved dish. From the classic Neapolitan to the thin, large Romana and more modern fried styles, pizza is going through a revolution in Italy.

Hot tasty traditional italian pizza

In this section, we will take a closer look at some of the popular and regional pizza varieties in Italy.

Popular Pizza Varieties

Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan pizza is the most famous pizza variety in Italy. It originated in Naples and is made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil. The crust is thin and crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.

The most popular Neapolitan pizza is the Margherita, which is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.

Pizza al Taglio

Pizza al taglio, also known as Roman-style pizza, is a rectangular-shaped pizza that is sold by the slice. It is thicker than Neapolitan pizza and has a crispy crust. It is often topped with a variety of ingredients, such as prosciutto, artichokes, and olives.

Marinara Pizza

Marinara pizza is a traditional Neapolitan pizza that is topped with tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and extra-virgin olive oil. It does not have any cheese, making it a great option for vegans.

Regional Pizza Varieties


In Puglia, a region in Southern Italy, the pizza is made with a thicker crust and is often topped with onions, olives, and tomatoes. The most popular pizza variety in Puglia is the calzone, which is a folded pizza that is stuffed with cheese, ham, and other ingredients.


In Liguria, a region in Northern Italy, the pizza is made with a thin crust and is often topped with pesto, potatoes, and green beans. The most popular pizza variety in Liguria is the focaccia, which is a flatbread that is topped with olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt.


In Milan, the pizza is made with a thicker crust and is often topped with gorgonzola cheese, sausage, and mushrooms. The most popular pizza variety in Milan is the pizza diavola, which is a spicy pizza that is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and spicy salami.


In Florence, the pizza is made with a thin crust and is often topped with arugula, prosciutto, and pecorino romano cheese. The most popular pizza variety in Florence is the pizza bianca, which is a white pizza that is topped with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.

Pizza is a staple food in Italy and comes in a variety of styles and flavors. Whether you are in Naples, Rome, Puglia, Liguria, Milan, or Florence, you are sure to find a pizza variety that suits your taste buds.

Pizza Toppings in Italy

When it comes to pizza toppings, Italy has a wide variety of options that cater to different tastes and preferences. As we explore the world of pizza in Italy, we will take a closer look at some of the most popular toppings and their unique characteristics.

Italian Pizza


The Margherita pizza is a classic Italian pizza that is simple yet delicious. It is made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves.

The colors of the toppings (red, white, and green) represent the Italian flag, making it a patriotic dish. The simplicity of this pizza allows the quality of the ingredients to shine through, making it a favorite among pizza lovers.


Prosciutto is a cured ham that is thinly sliced and added as a topping to pizza. It is often paired with other toppings such as arugula, Parmesan cheese, and cherry tomatoes. The saltiness of the prosciutto adds a unique flavor to the pizza, making it a popular choice among meat lovers.


Capricciosa is a pizza that is topped with a variety of ingredients such as artichokes, olives, mushrooms, ham, and tomato sauce. The toppings are arranged in a circular pattern, making it a visually appealing dish. The combination of flavors and textures makes Capricciosa a popular choice among pizza enthusiasts.

Other Toppings

Aside from the above-mentioned toppings, there are many other options available in Italy. Some of the popular toppings include:

  • Anchovies
  • Sausage
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Pineapple
  • Eggplant
  • Ricotta cheese

It is worth noting that the toppings used in Italy are often fresh and of high quality. This is because Italians take pride in their cuisine and use only the best ingredients to create their dishes.

Pizza toppings in Italy are diverse and cater to different tastes. Whether you prefer a classic Margherita pizza or a more elaborate Capricciosa, there is something for everyone.

Pizza Making in Italy

Falling Mozzarella Cheese On Pizza


When it comes to pizza making in Italy, the pizzaiolo is the master of the craft. These skilled artisans have honed their craft over years of experience, perfecting the art of dough-making, sauce preparation, and pizza baking.

Pizzaioli are highly respected in Italy, and many of them have devoted their lives to perfecting their craft.

Culinary Techniques

The key to great Italian pizza is the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. From the tomato sauce to the olive oil, every ingredient must be carefully selected to ensure the best possible flavor.

Pizzaioli use a variety of culinary techniques to create the perfect pizza, including:

  • Dough-making: The dough is the foundation of any great pizza, and pizzaioli take great care in preparing it. They use a combination of flour, water, yeast, and salt to create a dough that is soft, flavorful, and easy to work with.
  • Sauce preparation: The tomato sauce is another key component of Italian pizza. Pizzaioli use fresh, ripe tomatoes and a variety of herbs and spices to create a sauce that is rich, flavorful, and perfectly balanced.
  • Toppings: While there are countless toppings that can be used on Italian pizza, pizzaioli tend to favor fresh, simple ingredients. This might include mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, or even just a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Baking: The final step in pizza making is baking. Pizzaioli use wood-fired ovens that reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit to create a perfectly crispy crust and melted cheese.

Pizza making in Italy is a complex and highly skilled craft. Whether you prefer a classic tomato sauce pizza or a simple white pizza, you can be sure that every element has been carefully considered and executed with precision.

Where to Find the Best Pizza in Italy

When it comes to pizza, Italy is the ultimate destination. With so many pizzerias to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. But fear not, we’ve got you covered with our guide to the best pizza places in Italy.

Pizza in Italy

Top Pizza Places in Naples

Naples is the birthplace of pizza, and it’s where you’ll find some of the best pizzerias in the world. If you’re a fan of Neapolitan pizza, then you must visit the following places:

L’Antica Pizzeria da MicheleMargherita pizza
SorbilloFried pizza
Di MatteoMarinara pizza

These pizzerias use the freshest ingredients, such as San Marzano tomatoes and DOP-certified mozzarella, to create the perfect pizza. Don’t forget to try the quintessential Neapolitan pizzas, the Marinara and the Margherita.

Top Pizza Places in Rome

Rome may not be as famous for its pizza as Naples, but it still has some fantastic pizzerias. If you’re in Rome, make sure to check out the following places:

PizzariumGourmet pizza by the slice
EmmaClassic Roman-style pizza
La MontecarloPecorino Romano cheese pizza

These pizzerias offer a variety of pizza styles, from the classic Roman style to the gourmet pizza by the slice. Don’t forget to visit Trastevere, a neighborhood famous for its pizzerias and lively atmosphere.

Other Regions to Try Pizza

While Naples and Rome are the most famous pizza destinations, there are other regions in Italy that offer fantastic pizza. Here are some places to add to your pizza bucket list:

  • Campania: In addition to Naples, the region of Campania has other cities famous for their pizza, such as Salerno and Caserta.
  • Lazio: Outside of Rome, the town of Frosinone is known for its delicious pizza.
  • Sicily: Sicilian pizza is different from Neapolitan pizza, with a thicker crust and more toppings. Try it at places like Pizzeria La Ruota in Palermo.

No matter where you go in Italy, you’re sure to find delicious pizza made with fresh ingredients and a passion for the craft. Buon appetito!


Pizza is undoubtedly one of Italy’s most famous and beloved dishes. From its humble origins as a simple street food to its status as a worldwide phenomenon, pizza has come a long way over the years.

As we have seen, there are many different types of pizza in Italy, each with its unique flavor, texture, and toppings.

Neapolitan pizza, with its soft crust and simple tomato sauce, is perhaps the most famous, but Roman pizza, with its crispy crust and creative toppings, is also a popular choice.

When it comes to fast food in Italy, pizza is undoubtedly the king. You can find it everywhere, from small independent pizzerias to large chain restaurants. It’s a quick and easy meal that’s perfect for a busy day or a lazy evening at home.

The Mediterranean diet is famous for its health benefits, and pizza can be part of a balanced diet when enjoyed in moderation.

Pizza is an essential part of Italian cuisine, and it’s no wonder that it has become so popular around the world.

Whether you prefer a classic Margherita or a more adventurous topping, there is a pizza out there for everyone to enjoy.

So, next time you’re in Italy, be sure to try some of the amazing pizza on offer and experience the true taste of this iconic dish.


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