Who doesn't love a good slice of pizza? We sure as heck love it! Friday night is generally "pizza night" and although we vary where we get our pizza from each week, we generally stick to simple toppings, like pepperoni. Once in a while, instead of takeout, Paul will make his family-favourite pizza from scratch (lately he's been experimenting with different types of dough to try and get that elusive "perfect" crust).
So we knew we definitely had to eat some pizza when we went to Rome last month. Because some of the places we had wanted to try were closed for August holidays, and since we were spending most of our time sight-seeing in some intense heat, we didn't get to try as much pizza as we would have liked. However, every single slice of pizza we had while we were there was Amazing (yes, Amazing with a capital 'A').
Besides ordering whole pizzas and pizza by the slice, there's also get pizza al taglio (I love this concept). Pizza al taglio or pizza al trancio (Italian for pizza by the slice — literally "by the cut") is pizza baked in large rectangular trays. You tell the server how large a rectangular slice you want them to cut off and you pay for the slices by weight.
Over the course of our week-long trip, we had pizza six times, from four different places. I could write on and on about the pizza we had, but you just want to see the photos, don't you? :)
Taverna del Corso
I noticed this little pizza restaurant as we were walking to one of the (many) churches we visited. Later that evening, when we were trying to find somewhere to eat (like I said, a few of the restaurants we had wanted to eat at were closed for the holidays), I mentioned this place to Paul and off we went. I think I remembered it only because it had that cheesy Italian decor - you know, the wooden chairs, red-and-white checked table cloths and a grumpy old Italian man standing in the doorway (who turned out to be pretty nice, actually).
They serve pizzas on a super-thin, crispy crust (very similar to the one Paul makes) made in a wood-fired oven. We went twice while we were there and tried a range of their pizzas, including a Pizza Margherita, Pizza Parmigiana and Pizza Diablo.
Forno Brasserie Takeaway
We were on our way back from a nighttime event at Castel Sant'Angelo and got a little lost. It was 11 p.m., we had skipped dinner and we were starving so we stepped into one of the few places we saw open. The place was empty and there was only one man working there (who didn't speak any English), but like I said, we were starving! We ordered slices of pizza (triangular like I'm used to at home) and drinks and just sat on some stools, munching away.
When the server noticed I wasn't going to finish my pizza slices (I had two left), he asked me a question in Italian, but even with his helpful hand gestures, I didn't know what he meant. Finally, he gave up asking and just disappeared into the back room. A few minutes later, he returned with fresh slices of ham for me! I had ordered ham pizza slices so he wanted to give me some extra ham to place between the two remaining slices to make a pizza sandwich for later! How great is that?!
Paul found this little shop during our visit to the Pantheon and we returned for more later in the week. They sold pre-cut rectangular slices and every slice of pizza we tried was delicious. Located so conveniently by the Pantheon, it's a great place to pick up a slice or two while on the way to and from sight-seeing.
And, of course, the best for last....
There was only one pizza place in Rome that Paul absolutely HAD to go to. But, because of the August holidays, we weren't even sure if they would be open. But we took a shot, made the trek, and were rewarded with the Best. Pizza. Ever. EVER.
The Pizzarium is an incredibly small, no seating, take-out pizza place, owned by Gabriele Bonci, the super-famous pizza maker. Just walking in and seeing the amazing pizzas with incredibly creative toppings was worth the walk.
Pizzas are sold al taglio and the prices reflect the different toppings. There were things like green peppers, roast beef, goat cheese, roasted potatoes and other amazingly creative ingredients.
After grabbing our first slices (Paul got roast beef and I got the roasted potatos), we joined the small group outside and just sat on the curb, enjoying our pizza. If you tell them you're eating the pizza there, they'll put it on a small woooden board for you, otherwise it goes into a plastic takeout container. Like almost everyone else around us, after we were done, we headed back in for seconds (plain tomato this time). The server definitely wasn't surprised to see us back, so it's probably something that happens all the time.
The crust is thick - crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside - while the toppings are incredibly fresh and well-prepared. I seriously think Paul and I could have stayed there all day, just eating pizza.
How much did we enjoy Pizzarium? Let's just say I've ordered a copy of Bonci's pizza cookbook, Il gioco della pizza. Le magnifiche ricette del re della pizza, so that we can attempt a little of the magic we tasted in Rome. The only problem? The book is written in Italian, which neither Paul nor I speak/read. So now I have to learn Italian. How's THAT for dedication to pizza?
Other posts about my trip to Rome: