Fun facts and ideas to celebrate this Made in Italy speciality
15 Jan 2024
The Italian gastronomic tradition is the pride of our country and over time has been exported all over the world. There are, above all, two dishes for which Italy and its cuisine are known everywhere: pasta and pizza.
Pizza, in particular, is such a celebrated dish that in 2017, UNESCO declared it part of Humanity's Cultural Heritage. Making this new anniversary official led to the birth of a World Day dedicated to this Made in Italy marvel, with the idea of protecting its original recipe and enhancing its strong link with the country.
In Italy, when it comes to pizza, you can't help but mention Naples, considered by many to be the true birthplace of this speciality. Let's discover how World Pizza Day originated, when it is celebrated, and where to enjoy quality pizza in Naples.
World Pizza Day: date and origins
World Pizza Day is celebrated on 17th January. Few people know, however, that this is not a random date. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which created this event in collaboration with other companies in the sector, has in fact chosen it in reference to Neapolitan tradition and ancient customs.
For this is the day on which Sant'Antonio Abate is celebrated, the saint of fire and protector of pizza chefs. In the past, to honour this occasion, Neapolitan pizza makers used to lower the shutters of their businesses after lunch, spending the rest of the day with their families. After dinner, it was customary to light a bonfire in gratitude to Sant'Antonio Abate.
Celebrating World Pizza Day
The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana is responsible for exporting the tradition of pizza Made in Naples to Italy and around the world. To mark the occasion of World Pizza Day, it organises a large annual online event.
This year on the Association's Youtube channel, viewers can follow a 24-hour live broadcast with free masterclasses and connections from all over the world. Debates, lectures and interventions regarding pizza, its history and its proper preparation will take place online, allowing anyone who connects to delve further into these topics.
The different types of Neapolitan pizza
Naples is considered the true home of this speciality. Over time, in addition to the classic pizza, many other types with different shapes and fillings have been created.
There's a lot to discover beyond the classic margherita pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. Among the city's historical dishes we find, for example, deep-fried pizza, to be enjoyed while strolling through the famous Neapolitan alleys. The recipe is simple: fill the classic dough with tomato, mozzarella and any other ingredients according to taste, close it like a calzone and immerse it in boiling oil.
The Neapolitan calzone, on the other hand, was born as a variant of the typical pizza, with which it shares its basic ingredients: mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil and oil. Then there is stuffed pizza, where the crust is filled making the dish even tastier.
Finally, another very popular type is "pizza a portafoglio" or "libretto", an especially famous element of Neapolitan street food. It owes its name to the fact that the dough folded over on itself from both sides, just like a wallet, or "portafoglio".
Where to eat good-quality pizza
On this occasion, treating yourself to an excellent pizza is a must. Even better if in Naples! If you find yourself in the area, we recommend stopping by the Vesuvio Roof Bar & Restaurant by "UNA cucina", the restaurant of UNAHOTELS Napoli. Here, the typical dishes of Neapolitan cuisine come to life thanks to the careful selection of seasonal ingredients, served on an elegant terrace that offers guests a unique view of Naples.
The four-star property is also ideally located to explore the historic centre and take a stroll after your meal.
Many other restaurants throughout Italy prepare high quality pizzas. Among the many examples we find Gino Sorbillo, now an institution, who also offers his specialities in Rome, Milan, Genoa and Turin.
World Pizza Day is the perfect opportunity to taste and learn more about this speciality that has made Italy famous around the world, discovering its particularities and history. Even better if within the beautiful setting of Naples.