Crazy for Pizza

Old Mar 18th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Crazy for Pizza

I am taking my 80 year old mom to Italy in May. We will visit Venice, Naples, Rome and Florence. She LOVES pizza! What are the best "Pizza" places in these cities? I would like them to be more like Italian pizza than the American-ized version.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Venice and Florence: Fuhgeddaboudit. Rip-off-the-tourists crap. Pizza Hut is better.

Rome: Not familiar with any offhand, but avoid the major tourist areas. Pretty much any "pizza a taglio" hole-in-the-wall will be good but unpretentious. Order your pizza by the "etto" (100g, or about 3½ oz.) There are a couple between the Campo dei Fiori and Corso Vittorio Emmanuele that were my daily dinner for a month back in 1997.

Naples: Only went to 2 when I was there. Brandy, off Via Chiaia, was nothing to write home about. Pizzeria da Michele, off Corso Umberto I, was excellent. I have heard that quality at PdM has slipped since it's becoming overtouristed, but as of 2005 it was awesome.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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Not sure about Italy, but try this easy and simple Pizza Bianca as a snack to get Mom psyched for her trip:

1 pound pizza dough (store bought or from your local pizzeria)
Flour, for surface
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or rosemary) leaves
3/4 teaspoon good quality coarse salt

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/2-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a rimmed baking (cookie) sheet. Using a fork, pierce the dough all over. Drizzle the oil over the dough. Sprinkle with the thyme and salt. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cut into pieces.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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this is 4 years ago but I cannot stop thinking about pizza we had in venice. I don't know the name but if you were to walk out of the train station and walk to your left the shop would be on your right after walking maybe 5 minutes or less and right before a large open area before a bridge (sorry if I'm a little vague). It was just a take away place and whether you want to say it was authentic or not it was terrific.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Sorry seafox. Sounds terrible! What, no cheese or pizza sauce?
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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"La Dolce Vita" in Rome. The BEST pizza. And I should know pizza...I'm from New York (originally). Great indoor/outdoor cafe. Good for eating pizza, sipping wine, and people-watching!! They have a white pizza, with olive oil and italian spices...Yummy!! They also have a very large pizza menu and the pies are more personal-pan size rather than the New York slice!
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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I ate pizza all over Italy last fall. I didn't make any special effort to find any specific places but usually went for cheap, casual places, sometimes take-out.

Venice: ordinary pizza slices at many little pizza shops. Not bad but nothing to write home about.

Bologna: arrived mid-afternoon and was hungry and just stopped in some non-descript, hole-in-the-wall place that also does a good take-out business. The guy made me a pizza and it was out of this world - wow!!! Just fresh, tasty - that's about all I can tell you. (Lasagna that night at a bar was also fantastic - this being Emilia-Romagna where I'd heard that it's hard to get bad food. Too true!)

Florence: found a very decent local pizza joint (in a neighborhood with few tourists) that was fine. I stayed NW of the train station a bit and it was nearby, don't remember the name.

Cinque Terre: ate focaccia at a few take-out places, fantastic stuff! One was in Vernazza and was open only at night, couldn't tell you the name because I was unable to find it the next afternoon (must have been closed).

Naples: avoided a tourist dump 2 blocks from the train station; walked about 8 blocks and stumbled upon a place that was fairly non-touristy and really good, just basic. Probably not worth looking up the name but I could find it out, I have a picture of the place.

Rome: ate pizza all over the place at casual places and it was universally average, sometimes awful. Some of them may have been touristy but not all; the neighborhood I stayed in was not a big tourist trap. Interestingly, I found that they sell pizza by weight in Rome! Very interesting concept.

I still think the best pizza I've had is in New York or the Philadelphia area. The pizza in Naples and Bologna was excellent and in Vernazza, the focaccia bread stuff was great.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 07:33 PM
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Best pizza place in Rome is Pizza Re' on Via Ripetta (near Piazza del Popolo). It is Neapolitan style pizza, not Roman style.

It is hard to go wrong in naples if you get off the beaten path a bit. For example, on the road leading up Mt. Vesuvius is a place called Gianni al Vesuvio. Nothing but locals and a fantastic view - great pizza for a cheap price. I think technically it is located in Ercolano.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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Hi A,

>What, no cheese or pizza sauce?

Not every pizza has cheese or "pizza sauce".

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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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Hi P,

We very much liked the Pizza Bellini, on the Piazza of the same name, not far from the Archaeological museum.

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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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Thanks, seafox. Lately I've been making pizza using the very easy NY Times 'simple crusty bread' recipe on baking tiles. Will try your Bianca soon.

(The dough also makes good crusty bread, of course, and is incredibly easy. Google.)
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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Another vote for Pizza Re in Rome.

There are different types of pizza places in Italy. There are those that have the pizza stacked on the counter and will heat it up for you; these often sell by weight. Better in my opinion are the true pizzerias that serve (usually whole pies) whole pies fresh from the oven.

Pizza bianca is more akin to focaccia that to the "typical" tomato and cheese-topped pizza. And this pizza bianca is, in turn, different from the "white pizza" served in the US, which is often topped with fontina or fresh ricotta.

I've done a bit of research for an upcoming trip to Naples. Two names that turn up over and over again are:

Di Matteo Via dei Tribunali, 94
Sorbillo, Via dei Tribunali, 32

And Fodor's Poster Vicenzo has recommended this one:
Da Ettore, Via Santa Lucia
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 07:24 AM
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I don't agree with the first post - we have been to Italy several times, and nearly every place we had pizza it was good, sometimes great. One of the best pizzas we ever had was in Venice, away from the crowds behind the Academia. The only time we had mediocre pizza was in Rome, across the street from the Coloseum. Needless to say, your chances of being disappointed are greater in touristy areas - also avoid any place called a 'Snack Bar' as the food is not made on premises.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 07:25 AM
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In Venice, I think Acqua Pazza has great (albeit expensive...and huge) pizza. But my favorite pizza place in Venice is Ai Sportivi.

Here's a review:

In Florence, Baldovino (the trattoria, not the enoteca) has great pizza (the crust especially is divine).

Also in Florence, I love Pizzeria I Tarocchi (on the "other" side of the river). It's small, inexpensive, and cozy...and delicious. I remember that they also have to-die-for eggplant parmiagana.

The address is Via Dei Renai 10. No website...but here's a blurb from the Travel Channel.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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We too had great pizza all over Italy...and we usually ate it at least once a day! We would just kind of menu shop or look around until we stumbled across a place that looked good.

I don't remember all of the names, but I do recall really liking the pizza at da Buffetto in Rome. The pizza is very good so it gets its fair share of tourists, but for good reason.

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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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There is some great pizza in Venice - I lived on it for a long time.

If you are really crazy for pizza, you must try Casa Mia. It is on Calle Oca in Cannaregio. Their radicchio and salame pizza is so good... I mean it is GOOD.

Some other good pizzerias:

Alla Strega, on Barbaria del Tole in Castello

da Sandro, Campiello Meloni in San Polo

Antica Birraria in Campo San Polo

It's been awhile, but I have had good pizza in the heart of tourist central at Bora Bora, near Campo San Bartolomeo in San Marco

Casin de Nobili on Calle Casin in Dorsoduro

For a decent (not the best in town, but decent) pizza in a remarkable setting go to Pizzeria Accademia, on the Dorsoduro side of the Accademia bridge, on the patio overlooking the Grand Canal.

In Santa Croce, there are three excellent pizzerias. Pizzeria ae Oche, on Calle delle Tintor (they also have a new place on the Zattere), Il Refolo behind the church of San Giacomo dell Orio (a bit pricier, but wonderful food and outdoor setting) and last but not least Al Nono Risorto on Campo San Cassiano.

You really cannot go wrong with any of these, but whatever you do, do not miss Casa Mia.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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Ira, I have had dessert pizzas. But I thought they meant lunch or dinner pizzas, which I hope would have either cheese or some kind of pizza sauce. Without either, it wouldn't be something I would order. Just me though.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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Near Pizzeria da Michele in Naples there's Trianon. We planned to go to da Michele but it was way too crowded. Traianon has amazing pizza--much the best I've had.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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We had pizza everyday during a two-week trip through Italy (just over a year ago.) It was wonderful everywhere! Just go to the local places that are a block or two off of the main street or square. You'll find delicious, inexpensive pizza and you'll have the chance to meet the locals. And definitey go for the whole pizza - after you've had a bite you're going to want more than one slice! Don't forget to order a glass or two of the house red wine to go with it!
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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fabrizio, where is La Dolce Vita? Sounds great.

I also have to disagree with tdyls about Venice and Florence.

Venice: Pizzeria Romano, Piazza a Taglio, I think on Borgo La Noce, running north from Canto dei Nelli. Huge piece of pizza covered with thick slices of Buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes and sprinkled with oregano (not the usual basil) and olive oil. Fantastic!

Venice: On Calle dei Fabbri, a little shop with a sign sticking out that just says “Pizza,” and inside in huge letters on the wall, it says “Happy Pizza.” What they call bruschetta is really pizza. The one I had was several kinds of mushrooms, red peppers, cheese, artichokes and a spicy oil added (that wasn’t really that hot). Delicious.

Rome: Da Francesco, Piazza Fico (just west of Piazza Navona), great Pizza Margherita with prosciutto.
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