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A Slice of Rome: Pizza al Taglio

Food, What's New — By Erica Firpo on February 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm
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Over the past few months, I’ve been snooping on the delicious blog Tavole Romane, a virtual (and quite personal) compendium of Rome’s foodie scene.  This anonymous team writes about restaurants, trattorie, food stands, food carts and anything else that can be ingested, based on thorough on-site testing resulting in insightful and well-researched reviews.  In other words, they don’t write about what they haven’t tasted.  Though primarily written in Italian, Tavole Romane occasionally writes in English, and thus, I’ve persuaded them to reveal their favorite pizza al taglio spots in Rome.

If it is true that when talking about round pizza, you think of Naples, it is equally true that when thinking of pizza al taglio (by the slice), you can only talk about Rome!

  • Roman street food like a “hit and run” of excellence …
  • One of the real soul food in the capital …
  • Undisputed go-to solution for lunch and dinner quandaries…

These are the starring roles of pizza al taglio in Rome over the past years, and even decades.  It’s amazing to think that more than 1,500 places every day in the Roman area serve a more or less successful pizza al taglio. Alla teglia (pan) or alla pala (wooden shovel), with “natural” yeast or other kinds, traditional ingredients or organic, simple pizzas or creative combinations. Not to mention the flours. . .

What this means is that every pizza vendor– from baker (forno) to cafeteria (tavole calde) and kebab shops to the traditional Italian style pizzeria– makes its own particular and personalized pizza al taglio. The only common denominator is how the pizza is sold:  by weight. So join us in this short, selective Roman “road” to the discovery of pizza al taglio and its varying incarnations. Each listed address includes some of our favorite pizzas.

This journey begins a long time ago (in some cases, from 1800!) with traditional bakeries: here, pizza is either the classic white (focaccia) or red, and smells of delicious decades of bread baking. In the historical center: 1) Forno di Campo de’ Fiori and 2) Antico Forno Roscioli. And rounding it out in the Ponte Milvio area 3) Gianfornaio.

We continue forward with original locales that have maintained as constants over the years: 4) Angelo e Simonetta Iezzi (Nomentana), undisputed champions of the 1990s, who’s secrets include knowing how to preserve both the quality and flavor of the dough along with the eclectic combinations of ingredients (two pizzas in particular: margherita with fresh buffalo mozzarella and a pumpkin cream, provola cheese and bacon version), 5) Pizzeria Italia in Piazza Fiume (Corso d’Italia 103) sosta (break) for margherita pizza with perfectly melted mozzarella; 6) Pizza Luigi (Ostiense) with 50 types of pizzas, notable are the white pizza, focaccia, with prosciutto and figs, and the dolce (sweet) pizza with nutella and pine nuts.

In an unusual step on our journey, noted is a “franchise” 7) Alice Pizza Point: with 7 locations across Rome (including one in Prati), and offering quality and clever mixes of ingredients including the stand-out combinations of vegetables and cheeses.

Our whirlwind pizza tour concludes with the some recent stars to the Roman pizza scene: 8.Pizza Zazà (Pantheon), long rising dough and fresh, organic ingredients; 9) at 00100 (Testaccio) for pizza of striking and strong flavors, and the original trapizzini (triangles of white pizza bread)- stuffed to choice with Roman trappings like superb sugo di coda (oxtail tomato sauce) or with meatballs.  And finally “the Michelangelo of Pizza-Makers” Gabriele Bonci, according to Vogue,  exuberant and emblematic of Rome, with his 10) Pizzarium (Vatican). Much has been said and written about Pizzarium and Bonci, but more than anything is the pizza, made of local Lazio products creatively combined.  And now its your turn try “taglio” and tell us your favorites!

Photos from Flickr: Andrew Selvaggio, Katherine1977, Olivia e Marino, David LebovitzGardkarlsen

Tags: cooking, Culture, Food, Italy, Rome, Things to Do, tips, Travel Tips

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