Where Can I Eat Italy’s Best Pizza? (Hint: Not in Naples)

| Thu, 10/21/2021 - 03:23

The southern Italian region of Campania is recognized as the birthplace of pizza, where the Margherita was invented for the first time in Naples.

So it’s no surprise that Campania has been ranked as the top region in Italy for number of top-notch pizza establishments, according to the food and wine magazine Gambero Rosso, which is considered the ‘bible’ of good food. 

In the recently released 2022 guide to the best Italian pizza, “Tre Spicchi,” Campania’s pizzerias feature 19 times, followed by Tuscany with 16, and Lazio with 14.

So where can you eat the absolute best pizza in Italy? Not in Naples, at least according to Gambero Rosso. The award for best pizza in Italy goes to Franco Pepe's pizzeria Pepe in Grani in Caiazzo, province of Caserta (region of Campania) and to Simone Padoan's I Tigli in San Bonifacio, province of Verona (region of Veneto).

If you’re a pizza lover, Caiazzo may be worth the trip just to try Pepe in Grani, but the town itself is lovely for a stroll. About 20 km kilometers from Caserta, where you can visit the Unesco-inscribed Royal Palace, it is set amid the lush vegetation of the Volturno valley, rich with olive groves. In fact, a precious variety of olive, the ‘caiazzana,’ is grown here, to produce an excellent extra virgin olive oil, used also to flavor Pepe in Grani’s pizza. A medieval castle overlooks Caiazzo, and there are many historic buildings to admire as you stroll the small alleys.

About half an hour's drive from Verona is San Bonifacio, in an idyllic position nestled among hills planted with vineyards and woods rich in mushrooms and aromatic herbs. This is where you’ll find I Tigli, the pizzeria that was awarded the top score along with Pepe in Grani.   

Right after Pepe in Grani and I Tigli come:

Masanielli, Caserta 

La Filiale a L’Albereta, Erbusco (BS) 

Renato Bosco Pizzeria, San Martino Buon Albergo (VR)

As for pizza by the slice, no surprises here as the top award goes to Gabriele Bonci's famed Pizzarium in Rome.