“Of” and “the” are usually not words anybody would get excited about, but if they were omitted from the title of this piece, there would be trouble. Ten Best Pizzerias in Italy?! You might as well write about the 10 Best People in the World – there is just no way that everybody would agree with your choice. Personal favourites when it comes to pizza are idiosyncratic and individual, and nominating the best is as fraught as trying to choose your favourite child. But here goes anyway – in no particular order, 10 of the Best Pizzerias in Italy:
Antica Pizzeria Della Regina D’Italia, Naples
Situated close to the chic Chiaia neighbourhood and Piazza Plebiscito, Brandi is where the legendary pizza margherita was born in 1889. One of the more more elegant and atmospheric pizzerias in the home of pizza, Brandi still makes exceptional pizzas. This is Neapolitan pizza so the sauce relies on incredibly fresh tomatoes for flavour, the dough is soft and chewy, and the combined effect of moist cheese and soft crust means you have to eat it with a knife and fork.
Via Chiatamone, 36, Naples
Enjoy excellent pizza with the trademark Neapolitan soft, chewy crust at this popular haunt behind the Lungomare. Ingredients are explosively fresh, and the atmosphere is enhanced with live Neapolitan music.
Don Salvatore A Mergellina
Via Mergellina, 4, Naples
Yes, another pizza parlour in Naples! You could probably confine your top ten to this city of scrumptious crusts and toppings, but let’s not be greedy. Don Salvatore A Mergellina is quite elegant for a pizza joint, and the location is very inviting too, but neither of these factors can distract you from the mouthwatering excellence of the pizzas.
Lombardi A Santa Chiara
Via Benedetto Croce, 59, Naples
This is the last one for Naples, we promise. Located just off the stunning piazza, Lombardi A Santa Chiara offers an excellent choice of pizzas, oozingly flavoursome Neapolitan-style pizzas and impressively fast service.
Corso Garibaldi, 1, Diano Maria, Imperia (Liguria)
Frà Diavolo is an award-winning pizzeria, but as well as exquisite pizza and great value for money, it also offers tasty gluten-free pizzas and it is recommended by the Associazione Italiana Celiaci (the Italian Coeliac Association).
Via della Meloria, 43 00136 Rome
When Pizzarium opened in 2003, customers were reluctant to sample Gabriele Bonci’s revolutionary crust and unconventional toppings, but today gastronomes from around the world flock to his tiny restaurant in Trionfale for hot squares topped with such innovations as rabbit, grapes, and chicory; or LSD (licorice, sausage, and dates).
Via Giovanni Branca, 88 00153 Rome
Named after Rome’s former zip code (and the 00-type flour), this vibrant, hipster joint prides itself on its aged yeast crust and such unconventional toppings as mozzarella and Stilton under drizzles of port reduction, giving Gabriele Bonci (see above) a run for his money as Rome’s pizza king.
La Gatta Mangiona
Via Federico Ozanam, 30 00152 Rome
Situated in the residential Monteverde district, this pizzeria/trattoria offers superb classic Roman pre-pizza fritters (pecorino-and-mint croquettes and suppli updated with saffron and asparagus) and stunning pizzas that combine Neapolitan puffiness and crisp Roman edges.
La Divina Pizza
Via Borgo Allegri, 50r 50122 Florence
Wonderful hosts Graziano and Roberta serve superb pizzas with ingredients brought in daily from the Chianti region. The olive oil is exemplary, and the dough is made fresh daily, with their own starter yeast and home-ground flour.
Calle del Tentor 1552a Santa Croce, Venice.
This reasonably-priced pizzeria serves a choice of 70-plus wood-fired pizzas. The experimental order the lip-singeing mangiafuoco (fire-eater) with hot salami, Calabrese peppers, and Tabasco sauce, whereas more refined palates favour the classic white estiva with rocket, seasoned Grana Padano cheese, and cherry tomatoes.
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
Aoife O’Carroll is a staff writer for Nova Car Hire, a convenient website for arranging car rental in 26,000 locations worldwide, including car hire in Italy.