Eating an authentic Italian pizza in Italy can be a real treat. Here is an Italian lesson on the different types of pizza available and how to order your favourite pizza in Italy.
If you want a slice of pizza as a snack or lunch on the go, you may get a slice of pizza al taglio from a pizza shop or bakery. The pizza is baked in large rectangular trays, and sold by the slice according to weight. There are a variety of toppings available, from a simple pizza bianca (olive oil, garlic and rosemary) or pizza margherita (tomato sauce and mozzarella) to mixed roast vegetables, potatoes or ham. Sometimes you can eat in, or you can get it to take away and eat later, or even have it wrapped so you can eat it while walking. See below an example dialogue in a pizza al taglio shop:
Ciao, ti posso aiutare?
Ciao. Sì, vorrei un pezzo piccolo di questa con il salame
D’accordo. Va bene così?
Te la riscaldo?
Sì, la mangio adesso
Sono 2 euro
Ecco la tua pizza, buon appetito
Ciao, buona giornata
Hello, how can I help you?
Hello, I’d like a small piece of pizza with salami
Ok, is this size alright?
Would you like it warmed up?
Yes, I’ll eat it now
That will be 2 euros
Here you go
Here’s your pizza, enjoy
Bye, have a nice day
If you would like a pizza tonda(whole round pizza), you’ll need to go to the pizzeria. You can often get a takeaway to enjoy at home with friends, or eat in. If you eat in, you may also want to try some typical fried starters such as mozzarelline(fried mozzarella balls), olive ascolane (fried olives filled with meat), supplì(fried rice balls with tomato sauce and mozzarella in the middle, common in Rome), fiori di zucca (fried courgette flower filled with anchovies and mozzarella), filetti di baccalà(fried cod), and crocchette (croquettes). You can often get a mix of the fried dishes available which are called il fritto misto. Other starters include verdure grigliate(grilled vegetables), prosciutto (ham), salame (salami), mozzarellaand crostini (small pieces of toasted bread with a variety of toppings).
When it comes to the pizzas, some of the most common types are:
Marinara- tomato, oregano, garlic
Margherita- tomato, mozzarella
Napoletana- tomato, mozzarella, anchovies
Funghi- tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms
Quattro formaggi- four types of cheese
Con verdure / vegetariana- a vegetarian pizza, often with tomato, mozzarella, peppers, aubergines and courgettes
Prosciutto- tomato, mozzarella, ham
Salsiccia- tomato, mozzarella, sausage
Capricciosa- tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, artichokes, sausage or ham and sometimes egg
Wurstel e patatine- tomato, mozzarella, hot dog and chips - I have seen many teenagers eat this pizza!
Calzone- a folded over pizza
You can get a pizza bianca(white pizza, no tomato sauce), or pizza rossa(red pizza, with tomato sauce), and if you want to add a topping, you use the word ‘with’ in Italian: con. For example, you can say ‘una pizza bianca con salmone e rucola’(a white pizza with salmon and rocket’). If you want to remove something from a pizza on the menu, you use the word ‘without’ In Italian: senza. So you, can say ‘una pizza vegeteriana senza le melanzane’(a vegetarian pizza without aubergines). Alongside their pizza, many Italians will have a beer, a soft drink or some wine, as well as water.
Typical desserts at the pizzeria include tiramisù(coffee-flavoured dessert with mascarpone and lady fingers), panna cotta (set cream, which is often accompanied by a sauce such as forest fruits, chocolate or caramel) and creme caramel (custard pudding with caramel). You can often find gelato(ice cream), sorbetto(sorbet), and fresh fruit such asfragole(strawberries) and ananas(pineapple). On the menu, this could also be macedonia di frutta(fruit salad) or frutta di stagione (seasonal fruit). You may also find some sort of cake, such as torta al limone ortorta alle mele(lemon or apple cake).
See some useful vocabulary to use at the pizzeria below:
Siamo in ... - There are ... of us. For example, ‘siamo in due’- ‘there are two of us / we would like a table for two’
Possiamo ordinare - Can we order
Posso avere... - Can I have...
Vorrei... - I would like...
Com’è? - What is it like? For example, ‘com’è la pizza boscaiola?’- ‘what is the pizza boscaiola like?’ (It’s a white pizza with mushrooms and sausage)
Da bere - to drink. For example, ‘volete ordinare da bere’- ‘would you like to order something to drink?’
Da mangiare - to eat. For example, ‘posso ordinare da mangiare?’ - can I order something to eat?
Prendo una birra alla spina media - I’ll have a medium draught beer
Prendiamo un mezzo litro del vino rosso della casa - We’ll have a half litre of house red wine
Che dolci avete? - What desserts do you have?
Cì può portare il conto? - Can we have the bill?
Buon appetito for your next Italian pizza experience!