31 Traditional Italian Pizza Styles

Italian Pizza – Things to Know

Italian Pizza

Are you a pizza lover? Then you can’t miss out on the amazing flavors and textures of Italian pizza! Originating centuries ago, Italian pizza has become one of the most popular dishes in the world, with people from all walks of life still enjoying it in restaurants, at home, or even when eating out.

At its core, Italian pizza is about more than just delicious cheese and tomatoes; it incorporates classic techniques and ingredients that deliver an unforgettable experience each time. If you’re curious to learn more about this beloved food item from Italy, here’s a comprehensive guide outlining everything there is to know about Italian pizzas!

What Makes Authentic Italian Pizza?

Let’s clarify: what exactly is authentic Italian pizza? Don’t be fooled by American-style delivery pizza – it’s nothing like the real thing. However, as with any well-loved food, Italian pizza comes in various styles determined by region and preparation method. Take, for instance:

Discover the culinary creations of Bonci, the renowned pizza chef in Rome. His signature rectangular thick-crust pizzas are a sight to behold, adorned with vibrant and delicious toppings. Learn more about this esteemed chef by checking out our post on Rome.

Experience Authentic Pizza in Naples: As the birthplace of pizza, Naples prides itself on serving thin and supple crusts covered in tangy tomato sauce. Don’t miss the chance to savor a classic margarita pizza during your visit.

Experience the authentic taste of Italy with our Italian pizza – a harmonious blend of simple flavors and a delicately thin crust, exquisitely cooked in a high-temperature oven. Our Neapolitan pizza also fits this definition. Our recipe is a masterpiece of simplicity, featuring a flawless crust, zesty tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and a homemade basil pesto bursting with vibrant green flavors. Indulge yourself in a pizza that truly embodies the essence of Italian cuisine.

31 Traditional Italian Pizza

#1 Roman Tonda Pizza

Neapolitan and Roman pizzas have distinct differences. While Neapolitan pizza is known for its floppy slices with a puffed crust, Roman pizza boasts a thin, crispy crust that’s almost cracker-like. It’s so crunchy that it’s even called ‘scrocchiarella’. The pizza is lightweight due to the addition of olive oil and less water in the dough mixture. Maximum hydration of the dough is only up to 55%. Holding up a slice of this delectable pizza suggests it’ll never droop, and folding a slice is not even worth a try.

For a sturdier dough consistency, using a rolling pin is necessary to shape it. Unlike the softer Neapolitan type, which requires the expertise of hand shaping and tossing. After it’s shaped, a light layer of tomato sauce is applied, along with toppings of your choice. While various toppings can be used, the classic options include mozzarella, anchovies, capers, chopped basil, and pecorino.

#2 Pizza Al Taglio

#2 Pizza Al Taglio

Discover the wonder of Roman-style pizza al taglio, also known as “pizza in the pan” or “pizza by the slice.” This delicious pizza is cooked on sheet pans and sliced to order, allowing you to choose exactly how much you want. Similar to ordering cheese at a shop, you simply make your selection from the display case, tell the server how much you want, and pay by weight. Historically, Roman children would ask for ‘na piotta di pizza, meaning 100 liras worth of pizza, for their afternoon snack. Indulge in this classic and delicious pizza today.

Pizza al taglio is baked in an electric oven for up to 15 minutes, creating a golden, crispy crust that can be up to an inch thick. However, longer cooking times may not be suitable for certain toppings. To ensure that the toppings are not overcooked or overdone, some pizza accessories are applied during or after baking. While humble in appearance, pizza al taglio provides an excellent base for some of the most revered Italian cheeses, cured meats, seafood, and produce. It’s no wonder such care is taken with this beloved street food.

Pizza al taglio is not limited to Rome, despite being commonly referred to as pizza Romana. This type of pizza can be found throughout Italy, each version showcasing unique regional variations. One example is the round pizza Romana tonda, which boasts an incredibly crispy and thin crust without any corners for cutting. 

Interestingly, the dough used for this “pizza by the cut” doesn’t require a molded pan. Instead, it can be baked directly on the stone surface of the oven, resulting in what is known as pizza alla pala.

#3 Sicilian Pizza

Discover Sicilian pizza, which has become known as “square” pizza in the United States due to its shape. Brought to the U.S. by Sicilian immigrants, these pan pizzas were inspired by two traditional types of Sicilian pizza, sfincione of Palermo and cudduruni of Syracuse. These bread-like pizzas are also known as Sicilian focaccia. Many believe that these square pizzas later evolved into the popular pizza al taglio.

However, if you order pizza in Sicily, you’ll typically receive a round pie or a stuffed pizzolo with two round pies. The distinguishing aspect of Sicilian pizza isn’t its shape, but rather its locally sourced ingredients like semolina and goat cheese. Also, anchovies are a staple ingredient while buffalo mozzarella is not commonly used. Keep an eye out for breadcrumbs as a topping as well.

#4 Pizza Gourmet

#4 Pizza Gourmet

Discover the new world of “gourmet” pizza, where a culinary revolution is taking place. Meet the two masters behind the deconstructed pies, Simone Padoan and Renato Bosco, who meticulously craft each pizza as if it were a dish in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

These tweezer pizzas are creating waves in the food world, with some hailing them as a genius and others dismissing them as pretentious. Experience the exquisite taste of haute cuisine pizza and decide for yourself where you stand on this controversial food trend.

Bosco, a pizza expert, dislikes the term “gourmet” and prefers to use “pizza contemporanea.” He believes that pizza should evolve not only in cooking techniques but also in the use of raw ingredients and leavening methods. 

The gourmet pizza community is passionate about using wholegrain flour, ancient grains, and sourdough starters, making them a part of the craft baking movement. 

Their focus on sourcing ingredients sets them apart from their American counterparts. They also experiment with different doughs and blend the lines between pizza and fancy-topped artisanal bread. Bosco’s famous Aria di Pane is an excellent example of this unique approach.

#5 Pizza Napoletana

Discover the true taste of Naples with pizza and dry pasta, but be warned: something got lost in translation. To experience genuine Neapolitan cuisine, cook pasta al dente and pizza soft. Unfortunately, foreigners learned to do the opposite. Even Italians themselves developed a preference for pizza that cracks under pressure.

Enter Giovanni Santarpia, who brought true Neapolitan pizza to Tuscany. Locals were skeptical, but quickly changed their minds after tasting the crisp crust and well-leavened dough. The secret is in the 900-degree wood-fired oven, where the air bubbles in the dough are pushed outward to form the cornicione (rim) of the pizza base.

The dough is elastic, allowing it to cradle the prized tomatoes and mozzarella of the Campania region in a loving fold. Once you try it, you’ll understand Santarpia’s words: “The sensations you get from eating a soft and well-leavened pizza are different. You feel all the flavors in one bite.”

Now you too can enjoy traditional Neapolitan pizza with a hardcore following, even in areas as remote as Florence. Classic pizza Napoletana is waiting for you outside Santarpia, Giovanni’s pizzeria, nearly every night.

#6 Pizza fritta

Pizza fritta, a deep-fried Neapolitan-style pizza, is finally gaining popularity outside Naples. Despite initial reservations due to its starchy and cheesy nature, the trend of indulging in greasy street food has made way for pizza fritta. 

Moreover, it has gained a cult following on Instagram, owing to its stunning visual appeal. The cooking technique behind pizza fritta is awe-inspiring. The circular or half-moon pouch of stuffed dough is deep-fried, causing it to swell and turn golden. 

When opened, the fillings of ricotta, provola, tomato, and salami remain untouched by oil. This creates an exceptionally airy and delicious cocoon that requires minimal napkins. So, it’s time to indulge in the latest food trend and savor the marvel of cooking science that is pizza fritta.

#7 Pizza alla Pala/Pizza a Metro

Introducing Pizza alla Pala and Pizza a Metro – two terms for delicious oblong pizzas baked directly on the stone floor of a pizza oven. Similar to pizza boards, these unique creations are a satisfying treat for any pizza lover. The pizza a metro will have you sharing with others, as it can be up to a meter long, made to suit the number of people indulging.

If you choose pizza alla pala, you’ll be able to enjoy square slices. The pala, in Italian, means “peel”, and is a long-handled shovel-like tool used to slide pizza in and out of the oven. While the texture and depth can vary, you can expect a crunchy, at least a half-inch thick pizza. Give these pizzas a try, and you’ll be hooked!

#8 Calzone

The art of folding pizza dough has a rich history dating back 150 years. In Usi e Costumi di Napoli, one of the oldest pieces of literature about Naples’ customs and traditions, calzone, a stuffed pizza that folds over itself, is listed as one of the main styles of pizza.

Calzone ranks third on the list right after a flat combination pizza with grated cheese, neck lard, and basil, possibly topped with mozzarella, prosciutto, or clams.

Although calzone is considered a type of pizza, it requires a different preparation method to avoid excessive crust. Don’t make the mistake of building up the cornicione. Instead, follow the advice of master pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia of Pizzaria La Notizia in Naples and spread out the dough as you would for a normal pizza.

For the ultimate calzone experience, you don’t want anything standing in the way of indulging in the delicious ricotta, melted mozzarella, and other pizza pantry delights. Surprisingly, a lighter, easier-to-dive-into calzone exists – with all the same mouthwatering flavors and textures.

#9 Pizza Italiana

Introducing the “None-of-the-Above” pizza style, also known as “Classica,” “Tradizionale,” or “Napoletana.” This is what pizza looks like in Italy – small size (around 12 inches), thin crust, and fewer toppings than the American-style pizza. 

You’ll find familiar pre-sets like Margherita, Marinara, Napoli, Quattro Stagioni, and Capricciosa rather than the option to create your own. This classic pizza style also excludes toppings like pepperoni, chicken, and pineapple. Try it and taste the authenticity of Italian pizza.

In Southern Italy, “pizza Italiana” can often be associated with generic and mass-produced pizza sold in fast-food chains and supermarkets, even though some are freshly prepared with high-quality ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven. 

The ultimate compliment for a good pizza Italiana is its ‘digestibility.’ Poor-quality pizza is often made with rushed dough that leaves you feeling bloated for hours. 

But, with a well-made pizza, the dough is given time to ferment and rest, ensuring that it won’t weigh heavily in your stomach. When in Italy, the best pizza Italiana is the one that finds you, and with any luck, it’ll be a ‘digeribile’ one.

#10 Caprese Pizza

Discover the mouth-watering taste of Caprese Pizza – a classic Italian pizza topped with luscious cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella di bufala, delicate olive oil, and fresh basil leaves. Not only does it satisfy your cravings, but it also makes a perfect way to repurpose leftover tomatoes.

Elevate it to perfection and experience a tantalizing flavor by adding a touch of balsamic reduction on top. Savor every bite of this authentic pizza that will leave you craving more.

#11 Quattro formaggi pizza

Quattro formaggi pizza is a delectable Italian dish with a mouthwatering blend of four different varieties of cheese. As the name suggests, the pizza is topped with a combination of mozzarella and three different local cheeses that vary depending on the region, ranging from Gorgonzola to Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Optionally, the dish can be further enhanced with the addition of basil and tomato. This cheesy masterpiece boasts an entirely distinctive flavor that is adored by cheese enthusiasts worldwide.

#12 Capricciosa Pizza

Capricciosa, which translates to “capricious,” is a pizza that captures the essence of Italian cuisine with its ever-changing toppings.

This classic dish usually includes tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, artichokes, ham, olives, and a sliced hard-boiled egg, but in central and northern Italy, capers, sausages, and anchovies are also common additions.

Originally a favorite in the 1980s, capricciosa is once again gaining popularity and continues to be a top seller in Italy. Upgrade your pizza game and try capricciosa today!

#13 Pizza ai funghi

Pizza ai funghi, or mushroom pizza, is an Italian classic that delivers a huge flavor punch with its combination of mushrooms and cheese. This tasty dish usually contains tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, parsley, and various kinds of mushrooms such as porcini, white button mushrooms, shiitake, and portobello. 

The result? A savory pizza that can satisfy even the pickiest eaters! Plus, it’s very easy to make – all you need are some fresh ingredients and a generous helping of olive oil. Try your hand at making this delicious Italian staple today!

#14 Pizza Prosciutto

A Classic Blend of Salty Prosciutto, Creamy Mozzarella, and Robust Tomato Sauce

Experience the perfect combination of savory prosciutto cotto, creamy mozzarella, and tangy tomato sauce spread over a crispy pizza crust. Our traditional Pizza Prosciutto is garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, oregano, and fresh basil leaves for a mouth-watering taste that will leave you craving more.

Take your Pizza Prosciutto to the next level by personalizing it with a variety of toppings such as artichoke hearts, mushrooms, or olives. Taste the difference in every bite of our delectable pizza. Order now and enjoy its unmistakable aroma and rich flavor that’s sure to satisfy your pizza cravings.

#15 Pizza primavera

Indulge in an authentic Italian pizza experience with our classic pizza dough as the base. Topped with the perfect amount of mozzarella, and baked to perfection, our pizza boasts of fresh ingredients guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds.

Expect a delicious combination of sweet cherry tomatoes, refreshing arugula, savory prosciutto, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese shavings, all served hot and fresh. Try our signature pizza today and enjoy the true taste of Italy.

#16 Diavola pizza

Experience a unique taste of Italy with our signature Diavola pizza. Our classic Italian dough is smothered in the perfect amount of tomato sauce, then topped with spicy salami, black olives, and oregano. It’s then baked to perfection and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese for an added layer of flavor. 

The result? A flavor-packed slice that will leave your taste buds tingling! So go ahead and indulge in this hot and delicious Italian classic today. Enjoy the true taste of Italy with every bite! 

#17 Pizza ai Frutti di Mare

Experience the taste of Italy with Pizza ai Frutti di Mare – a delightful pizza variety topped with fresh seafood like scampi, squid, and mussels. Served without any cheese, the succulent seafood is laid out over the delicious tomato sauce and crisp dough.

This pizza is renowned for its popularity throughout Italy and Mediterranean countries like Croatia. Enhance your culinary experience by drizzling some olive oil over it and pairing it with a glass of chilled white wine. Enjoy a slice of authentic Italian cuisine today!

#18 Quattro Stagioni Pizza

Discover the delicious and versatile quattro stagioni pizza, a beloved Italian classic. With its toppings arranged in four sections to represent each season, it’s a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

Like the popular pizza capricciosa, it features a blend of ingredients such as tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, artichokes, ham, and olives, which change depending on availability and preference. For an added touch of creativity, some chefs divide the seasons with thin strips of pizza dough. Enjoy a slice of pizza for all seasons with quattro stagioni.

#19 Pizza Carbonara

Introducing pizza carbonara – a delicious twist on the classic Italian pasta dish. Our pizza features a crispy crust topped with tangy tomato sauce and savory pancetta, finished off with a generous layer of eggs and cheese.

For the authentic experience, we recommend Mozzarella and Grana Padano cheeses, although Provolone and Pecorino Romano are equally delicious options. Try this mouthwatering pizza for a flavor-packed meal that’s sure to satisfy you.

The pizza is enriched with the tangy flavor of olive oil and the refreshing taste of fragrant basil or parsley, perfectly seasoned with black pepper – reminiscent of the authentic pasta carbonara experience. Our skilled chefs take pride in cooking the eggs to perfection, directly onto the pizza, requiring expert timing.

Alternatively, our recipe also offers boiled and sliced eggs, artfully arranged atop the pie. Savor a delicious slice of Italy with our mouthwatering pizza.

#20 Pizza Vegetariana

Discover the flavorful and healthful pizza variety that is perfect for vegetarians – the Pizza Vegetariana! This pizza starts with a classic crust. Then you can enjoy the mouth-watering combination of tomato sauce, pre-cooked fresh seasonal vegetables (including zucchini, eggplants, and peppers), and a variety of delicious toppings such as bell peppers, artichoke hearts, spinach, and more.

Top it off with olive oil and fresh basil to complete your pizza experience. Bonus: Pizza vegetariana can be made vegan-friendly by simply omitting the mozzarella.

#21 Prosciutto e Funghi Pizza

Discover the perfect pizza variety with Prosciutto e Funghi, consisting of savory tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Crafted with thin slices of prosciutto cotto and flavorful mushrooms, this delectable pie is a definite crowd-pleaser.

For added distinction, some variations feature luscious olives or a drizzle of fragrant olive oil. Order now, and prepare to experience the ultimate taste sensation.

#22 Pugliese Pizza

Experience the Flavor of Puglia with Pugliese Pizza.

Indulge in the timeless Italian delight of Pugliese Pizza, named after the beloved region of Puglia. Enjoy a simple yet delicious combination of pizza dough topped with savory tomato sauce, red onion rings, and fresh mozzarella.

For an added touch, try Provolone or Pecorino cheese, or delight in savory ingredients such as anchovies, capers, olives, or oregano. Savor every bite of this classic variety and embark on a culinary journey through Italy with Pugliese Pizza.

#23 Pizza Bufalina

Indulge in the classic flavors of pizza bufalina with fresh tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, and indulgent buffalo mozzarella. Made from the milk of Italian Mediterranean buffalo, mozzarella di bufala is renowned for its delicate texture and rich flavor, perfectly elevating the taste of this traditional pie.

Enhance your pizza experience with a drizzle of olive oil and the addition of fresh basil leaves. Savor every bite of this one-of-a-kind dish.

#24 Pizza Ortolana

Pizza Ortolana, the classic Italian dish, is affectionately known as the “Greengrocer’s Pizza.” This delicious masterpiece is crafted with basic pizza dough and layered with mouth-watering tomato sauce, tangy mozzarella cheese, and delectable grilled eggplant and zucchini slices.

The final touch of a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil makes this pizza perfection. Delight your taste buds with Pizza Ortolana tonight!

#25 Pizza Al Tonno

Discover the mouth-watering simplicity of pizza al tonno – a beloved Italian classic that uses delicious tuna as a topping. With a basic pizza dough base and rich tomato sauce, this tasty treat is elevated by the addition of creamy mozzarella and succulent olive oil-packed tuna.

A true staple of Italian pizzerias, this pizza is a year-round favorite thanks to the convenience of canned tuna. For added taste sensations, try some of the tempting variations on offer, including onions, olives, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, gorgonzola, artichokes, or eggplants.

#26 Pizza Parmigiana

A Delicious Twist on Southern Italian Tradition

Discover the mouth-watering combination of pizza and the traditional Southern Italian specialty, parmigiana di melanzane.

Pizza Parmigiana uses the same key ingredients as toppings, blending the flavors of eggplant parmesan with everyone’s favorite comfort food. Indulge in a unique and satisfying taste experience with every slice.

This delectable dish is traditionally topped with savory tomato sauce, crispy fried eggplant slices, delicious mozzarella cheese, and heaps of grated Grana Padano cheese. With flavor-packed garlic, onions, oregano, and basil in the tomato sauce, every bite of this pizza is bursting with scrumptious taste.

Once baked to perfection, the pizza is then lovingly drizzled with a touch of olive oil and beautifully garnished with fresh basil leaves that make it look as delightful as it tastes.

#27 Pizza Tonno e Cipolla

Experience the Taste of Tuscany with Pizza Tonno e Cipolla.

A Tuscan specialty, pizza tonno e cipolla is a delicious blend of Italian flavors and textures. Enjoy the classic Italian combination of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil-packed tuna, and caramelized onions atop a crisp pizza crust.

This unique recipe adds depth to traditional pizzas with the addition of oregano, garlic, and capers for extra flavor. Savory yet light, this dish is sure to be a hit in your household – order now for an unforgettable culinary experience!

#28 Tirolese pizza

Experience a classic Italian delight with Tirolese pizza. This regional specialty hails from the province of Trentino in Northern Italy and is renowned for its rich flavor profile.

Start with a soft, dough base and add sun-ripened tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Grana Padano cheese, and succulent speck ham. The finishing touches are an extra layer of cream cheese that melts into the recipe to create the perfect balance between savory and creamy textures.

Finally, sprinkle oregano on top for a touch of freshness and you have yourself an unbeatable culinary experience!

Treat your taste buds to this delicious variety of pizza tonight – you won’t be disappointed!

#29 Tirolese pizza

Experience a classic Italian delight with Tirolese pizza. This regional specialty hails from the province of Trentino in Northern Italy and is renowned for its rich flavor profile. 

 Indulge in the delicious flavors of Tirolese pizza, a classic South Tyrolean dish made with a mouth-watering combination of tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella, and delicate slices of cured Tiroler speck. This delectable pizza has spread throughout the country and can be enhanced with the addition of savory mushrooms. Savor the authentic taste of Tirolese pizza today.

Treat your taste buds to this delicious variety of pizza tonight – you won’t be disappointed!

#30 Pizza Carrettiera

Do you love Neapolitan pizza? Then you’ve got to try the pizza carrettiera! This delicious Italian pizza is smothered with aromatic tomato sauce, savory salsiccia, crispy rapini, zesty pepperoncini, and smoked provolone cheese. Sometimes called the “sausage and rapini pizza,” it’s a classic dish that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. Order a slice today!

Discover the unbeatable pairing of rapini and fresh Italian pork sausage with the renowned Campanian expression, “A sasicc è a mort re friariell.” Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors by trying it on top of pizza, topped off with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves. Experience the perfect balance of savory and refreshing tastes in every bite. 

#31 Pizza Boscaiola

Experience the delicious taste of the traditional Italian pizza variety, Boscaiola. Made with mozzarella, porcini, or champignon mushrooms, sliced Italian sausage, and cream, this mouth-watering pizza can be topped off with a drizzle of olive oil, olives, or fresh parsley.

For those who prefer to skip the tomatoes, Boscaiola can also be prepared without them. Give your taste buds a treat with the classic flavors of Boscaiola.


Authentic Italian pizza requires the precision and artistry of experienced hands. From the select ingredients sourced locally to the skillful techniques of preparing it, traditional Italian pizza is unmatched in its delicious complexity and indulgent texture when compared to other types of pizza.

By exploring what makes authentic Italian pizza special, one can gain a better understanding of how each component elevates it above all others. Equipped with enough knowledge, everyone can make an informed decision on which type of pizza they choose to indulge in.

If you want to know more information, visit our website here.


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