One of my most read post is the one explaining the different kinds of coffees you can find in Italy. The post dates back to September 2015 but it is permanently among the top 10 posts. It was around that time, the time when I wrote it, that I thought about writing also a similar one dedicated to the types of Italian pizza served in pizzeria. But then I never did. I had always other posts to write, and besides, other than the writing, for this kind of posts I have to do the drawings and the audio and/or video file, which requires time.
Plus I thought that surely there must have been already many posts dedicated to the same topic. To my great surprise I realized it is not as I thought. Or, better, there are many posts regarding Italian types of pizza, but, as Italian, I must say that many of those posts are not entirely true, not that accurate. So here I am with my own version.
The following pizze, plural of pizza, pronounced [PEEZ-zeh], are the most common, the ones every pizzeria has. In fact they are usually called pizze classiche o tradizionali, classic or traditional pizze.
You can skip this and go directly to the video (at the bottom of the page)!
Types of Italian pizza
Marinara [mah-ree-NAH-rah]: tomato sauce, garlic and oregano. This is the pizza for lactose intolerants, for people on a diet or for vampire fighters.
Margherita [mahr-geh-REE-tah]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil. It is the most famous pizza of all, and one of my favourites too. They say, if you want to understand if the pizzeria makes a good pizza, you have to order a margherita.
Romana [roh-MAH-nah]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies. This pizza reminds me of an adorable lady that loved this pizza. I miss her.
Siciliana [see-chee-leeAH-nah]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, capers, anchovies, olives.
Prosciutto e funghi [proh-SHOOH-toh eh FOOHN-gee]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms. One of my favourites, too. But I hate when, in some places, they use pickled mushrooms. No! You must not put pickled mushrooms. The vinegar ruins the taste.
Capricciosa [ka-preech-CHOH-sah]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes, olives . This is a very beloved pizza. My husband loves it for example.
Quattro stagioni [KWAHT-troh stah-JOH-nee]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes, olives. It has the same ingredients of the capricciosa, but separated. Each one has its own quadrant of the pizza.
Quattro formaggi [KWAHT-troh fohr-MAHL-jee]: (tomato sauce discretionary), mozzarella, fontina, gorgonzola and parmigiano. This pizza is very rich, full of cheese. And the gorgonzola has a very pronounced taste. I love it, but some people don’t. So, you’re warned.
Tirolese [pah-ree-JEE-nah proh-SHOOH-toh tee-roh-LEH-seh]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, speck (smoked, cured ham). Since speck is a speciality from South Tirol, this pizza is called Tirolese.
Viennese [vyehn-NEH-seh]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, slices of Vienna sausages. Particularly appreciated by kids.
Diavola [DYAH-voh-lah]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, slices of hot salami (in Italian called salamino piccante). It is maybe similar to the famous Pepperoni pizza. But peperoni in Italian means peppers. So beware of the difference!
Tonno e cipolla [TOHN-noh eh chee-POHL-lah]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, tunafish, onion. This is another one of my favourites. I love it, even if sometimes my friends complain for the smell!
Vegetariana [veh-jeh-tah-reeAH-nah], also called Verdure (vegetables) or Ortolana (greengrocer’s): tomato sauce, mozzarella and veggies. In every pizzeria they use different vegetables: aubergines, courgettes, peppers, spinach, peas, carrots and so on. So if you have some despised vegetable, you better ask in advance for the exact ingredients.
Calzone [kahl-TSOH-neh]: tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms. The calzone is basically a prosciutto e funghi but folded in half. The tomato sauce in this case is served on the side.
Naturally there are many variations:
- Funghi: only mushrooms
- Prosciutto: only ham (we call it prosciutto cotto)
- Prosciutto crudo: only prosciutto
- Tonno: only tunafish
- Cipolla: only onions
- Salsiccia: with pieces of sausages…
But I preferred to limit the number of drawings. Plus otherwise I would have written a book!
Then of course you can find the special pizze, le pizze speciali. They feature seasonal ingredients (like pumpkin in Autumn or radicchio in Winter), peculiar ingredients (smoked salmon, truffle cream, mozzarella di bufala) or simply a lot of ingredients together, according to the inspiration of the pizzaiolo, the pizza maker, for example: tomato sauce, mozzarella, Philadelphia (cream cheese), sausage, gorgonzola cheese and fried aubergines.
My friends will surely notice that I quoted a specific pizza we used to eat when we were young and our stomach much stronger in Cadoneghe, a small town North of Padova, at the pizzeria Silvio. This pizza is called Silvio 5. Silvio is the pizza maker. Now I would hardly digest it.
Well, now I think you’re ready to order your favourite among these types of Italian pizza. Buon appetito!
To hear the pronunciations watch my video below!
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My father, who would be 100 years old this year, was born in Italy and came to America when he was 8 or 9. He was always amused when my friends and I would go to a pizza parlour- to him, pizza was something you made from leftovers! My grandmother made bread every morning. She would set aside a little dough, bake it with tomatoes and whatever leftovers she had from the night before, and bring it- as wives did back then- to where my grandfather worked. Sometimes, as my father and his siblings got a little older, it was their job to take it to their father- and heaven help anyone who dawdled on the way! My father was a very good cook and it was a treat when he would make pizza for us. So much better than the restaurant’s and his garlic bread was a favorite with all my friends. Not butter and just garlic- he made it with olive oil, garlic and herbs just the way his mother made it and now I make it that way, too!
Thank you, Robin, for sharing this private, lovely memory. 🙂 Yes, homemade pizza and pizza eaten at the restaurant are two separate worlds. In my area, garlic bread is not common though. I love it!