Types of pizza in Italy Romana

10 Unique Types of Pizza in Italy You’ll Love!

Have you ever dreamed of eating a Neapolitan pizza in Italy? What about all the different types of pizza in Italy? Types of pizza like Pizza al Padellino, a pan pizza from Turin. Or Pinsa, a crispy, cloud-like pizza from Rome. Maybe Sfincione, the original Sicilian Pizza. Oh, and Pizza Fritta, a type of fried pizza from Naples!

Italian cuisine is hyper-regional, and pizza is no exception. Authentic Italian pizza is much more than just the raining queen, Pizza Napoletana, aka Neapolitan pizza, aka the original Italian pizza.

There are many unique types of pizza that originated in Italy. We are not just talking about variations in pizza toppings. Rather the foundational elements that define the many different types of pizza in Italy, like dough, cooking methods, shape, and even how you eat it!

If you are a pizza lover planning a trip to Italy, our list of the most popular, delicious, and unique types of pizza in Italy is for you!

Types of Pizza in Italy

In this article, when we talk about types of pizza in Italy, we are not talking about pizza toppings. We’re looking beyond what tops a pizza to how Italians make and consume pizza in Italy. Think dough hydration levels, cooking methods, shapes, and different serving, selling, and eating styles.

For Italians, these are the fundamentals or the building blocks of what makes the different types of pizza unique in Italy. For tourists, understanding these differences means understanding what to expect when ordering pizza in Italy.

Want to skip straight to the most popular types of pizza in Italy? Keep Reading. However, if you’re curious about the characteristics that differ between the types of pizza in Italy, use the links in the table of contents below.

As we always say our opinions are a little like pizza dough. Meant to be tossed around a little. We welcome your thoughts, experiences, and questions in the comment section below.

1. NEAPOLITAN PIZZA an Iconic Type of Pizza From Naples

When it comes to eating the different types of authentic Italian pizza in Italy, you should start from the beginning.

Have you ever wondered where pizza, as we know it originated? The most widely recognized, original Italian pizza is Pizza Napoletana or Neapolitan Pizza in English. 

Neapolitan pizza, the original Italian pizza
Neapolitan pizza in Italy

Although Neapolitan pizza is the most common type of pizza in the world, it’s still at its best in Italy. Even as an American, I have to admit when it comes down to a battle of Italian pizza vs American Pizza, Italy Wins. In fact, Italians take Neapolitan pizza so seriously it is on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list

Neapolitan pizza made by a skilled pizzaiolo (Italian for a trained pizza chef) is transcendent. The crust has a thick pillowy rim with a thinner, more elastic center as seen in the video below.

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist
Naples, The Birthplace of Pizza

If you still have not eaten a Neapolitan pizza in Italy, here’s a tip. Start with a pizza Margherita.

Pizza Margherita traditionally refers to a Neapolitan-style pizza topped with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, and dough made with 00 flour, water, salt, and yeast.

While that might sound boring if you love pepperoni or fully loaded pizza, the beauty of a Margherita pizza is in the restraint. 

2. PIZZA AL PADELLINO a Royal Type of Pan Pizza From Turin

Pizza al Padellino, or Pizza al Tegamino as it’s sometimes called, is a small Italian pan pizza from Turin, Italy. Torinese claims this type of pizza was Vittorio Emanuele II’s (The first King of Italy) favorite.

Like Neapolitan pizza, pizza al padellino is served unsliced as an entree for one person. So you’ll need to eat it with a knife and fork too! However, unlike Neapolitan pizza, pizza al padellino is cooked in a well-oiled pan instead of directly on the surface of the pizza oven.

The result is a crisp exterior crust with a light, almost fluffy interior. Pizza al padellino will remind many of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. However, the dough is less dense and not made with as many toppings, making it a lighter type of pizza. 

Unfortunately, this Italian pizza style is a regional favorite that’s not easy to find in other areas of Italy. However, this is one of the types of pizza worth coming to Turin to try.

Here is a look at Pizza al Padellino from the Padellino Factory and Bricks, two of our favorite spots to try Pizza al Padellino in Turin, Italy.

  • Pizza al Padellino at Bricks in Torino, Italy
  • Pizza Padellino (Pan Pizza) is from Torino, Italy
  • Pizza Padellino Crust

3. SFINCIONE a Focaccia Like Type of Pizza From Sicily

In Sicily, Sfincione is the king of Italian pizza. This street-style Sicilian pizza is sold in rectangular slices in bakeries rather than pizzerias. In fact, no trip to Sicily is complete without trying Sfincione. Don’t even try to resist. It’s futile because the smell of freshly baked Sfincione drifts around every corner in Sicily.

Sicilian pizza is similar to Pizza al Padellino in that it’s baked in a pan. However, the pans are larger rectangular sheet pans. Thus Sfincione is served in individual slices cut with kitchen scissors.

One of the most unique things about this type of pizza is you sauce the dough before letting it rise a second time. Hence the dough soaks up all that tomato flavor, making for a deeply rewarding bite.

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist

One of the perks is that Sicilians sell Sfincione by weight. So you can order as much or as little as you like just like our next type of pizza on the list.

Brandy Shearer Eating Sicilian Pizza in Scopello, Sicily
Brandy Shearer Eating Sicilian Pizza in Scopello, Sicily

4. PIZZA AL TAGLIO a Type of Pizza Sold in Slices from Rome

Tagliare means “to cut” in Italian, and pizza al taglio means pizza by the cut or slice in English. Since the first pizza al taglio spot opened in Rome in the 1950s, this type of pizza has become a popular street food across Italy because of its portability and digestibility.

Unlike Neapolitan pizza, Romans allowed their dough to rise and ferment longer. Plus, they bake it naked briefly before topping and baking it fully. Hence, Pizza al Taglio is light and easy to digest, making it the perfect pizza on the go.

In contrast to the triangular pieces from a large round pizza found in New York City, Pizza al Taglio is cut from rectangular pizza and sold either by the slice or kilogram. We adore this informal type of pizza because you can easily sample different toppings.

Pizza al Taglio is the most common type of pizza Italians eat with their hands in Italy. In fact, here I am with my first slice in Italy! 

Author Brandy Shearer Eating Pizza al Taglio in Turin, Italy

Two places we recommend trying Pizza al Taglio in Turin are Magno and Tellia Lab. In addition to a sit-down restaurant experience, Magno offers a unique balance between experimentation and tradition with their Pizza al Taglio toppings crafted for those on to go. Tellia Lab is a boutique bakery offering high-quality Pizza al Taglio seen in the photos below. 

  • Pizza al Taglio types of pizza from Tellia Lab in Turin, Italy
  • Brandy & Mom stopping for a slice of Pizza al Taglio in Turin, Italy

5. PIZZA FRITTA a Fried Type of Pizza from Naples

Pizza Fritta is the lesser-known cousin of Neapolitan pizza. It emerged as a result of poverty during World War II. Hundreds of air raids left a lack of ingredients and functioning ovens.

Hungry for pizza, left with little more than creativity, resilient Napoletano created Pizza Fritta. They took to frying instead of baking their pizzas. Toppings were minimal and consisted of whatever ingredients were in season.

Although this type of pizza has roots over 300 years old in poverty, it remains a celebrated part of Neapolitan cuisine today for good reason. It’s delicious and easy to make at home!

You can make Pizza Fritta with the same dough as Neapolitan pizza. However, it’s much more practical to make at home because you don’t have to have a special pizza oven. Instead, you use high-quality oil and a frying pan, as demonstrated in the video below.

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist

6. CALZONE a Type of Pizza That’s Folded & Baked from Naples

Unlike Pizza Fritta, Calzone is baked instead of fried. Why would Italians mess with their beloved Neapolitan pizza? The simple answer is portability.

The word Calzone means pant leg. Calzone is a type of pizza named after its purpose, being portable. In other words, the Napoletano people love their pizza so much that they create ways to make it and take it with them no matter what.

Calzone has another similarity with Pizza Fritta. It’s easy to make at home. Unlike its predecessor’s quick trip through a screaming hot oven, Calzone must bake long enough to ensure the filling cooks fully. Hence you don’t have a fancy pizza oven to make Calzone. Although, the pizzaiolo in the video below does make it look like fun to have one!

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist

7. PINSA a Type of Pizza Similar to Flatbread from Rome

Another type of pizza from Rome is Pinsa, which is having a moment right now in Italy. In recent years bars and breweries across Italy have adopted this type of pizza. Hence Pinsa now has a youthful, celebratory association.

A modern take on the ancient Roman flatbread, Pinsa dough is softer and cloud-like with a crispy outer edge.

Two things make Pinsa unique. The first is the type of flour used to make the dough. Pinsa dough mixes soy or rice flour with sourdough or wheat flour (depending on the recipe.) The result? Both soy and rice flours increase water absorption allowing Pinsa dough to reach an 80% hydration level. The result is a supremely crispy, easy-to-digest crust.

The second major differentiator for Pinsa is how the Pizzaiolo forms the dough. First, they lay the dough in a well of semolina or rice flour. Then they carefully shaped it into an oval before gently poking the dough to create pockets. As you can see in the video below, making Pinsa dough looks a bit like making focaccia.

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist

At San Michele Brewery outside Turin, I tried the Rossini Pinsa topped with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and anchovies. Since anchovies have a deep history in Piedmont, my Pinsa (seen in the photos below) was outstanding!

  • Pinsa pizza a type of pizza in Italy
  • pinsa a roman type of pizza in italy
  • Paolo's "let me eat my Pinsa now please" face.

8. PIZZA TONDA a Round Crispy Type of Pizza from Rome

Get ready to gasp. Not everyone loves Neapolitan pizza. The moisture level and the pillowy, chewy crust might be Italian bliss but an American miss. Consider my pearls clutched!

Jokes aside, if you love pizza with a crispy crust, pizza tonda romana is for you!

Pizza tonda, aka Roman scrocchiarella, is a pizza from Rome beloved for its crust. Fans of this type of pizza are not satisfied if every bite doesn’t deliver an audible crunch, hence the nickname.

Since tonda means round and scrocchiarella means “crunch it” in English, you can easily guess what characterizes pizza tonda. You guessed it! Tonda is a round pizza with a super-thin, crispy crust from Rome.

Specifically, pizza tonda is unique because of its low-hydration dough spiked with olive oil. Plus, unlike Neapolitan pizza dough that gets shaped by twirling it in circles, Romans make this pizza shape round by using a rolling pin as seen in the video below.

Tip on Italian Language Videos. YouTube has closed captions in multiple languages. Hit play, then click the CC bottom to turn on the closed captions. Next, click the settings button (gear-looking wheel) and click where it says Italian auto-generated. Then click auto-translate on the popup and select your preferred language. Fair warning, you’re about to be very hungry!


9. PIZZA IN TEGLIA ALLA ROMANA a Pan Pizza from Rome

The Confraternita della Pizza is to pizza in teglia alla Romana as the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana is to Neapolitan pizza. In other words, Romans are just as serious about their pizza as Neapolitano. That includes pizza in teglia alla Romana or Roman pan pizza.

In fact, the guidelines set forth by the Confraternita or Brotherhood in English state that “Pizza in pan alla Romana is a baked product, cooked in rectangular pan measuring 60 x 40 cm. It has a thickness between 15 and 30 mm, homogeneous over the entire surface, with no areas of thickness or density.”

They go into detail about the type of pan (blue iron), the color of the crust (light hazelnut), and the texture (not greasy, light in consistency, and crumbly.)

Unlike Pizza al Padellino, Roman-style pan pizza is twice-baked. Just before it’s finished, they remove it from the oven to top it with sauce and cheese, then return it to the oven to finish baking.

The attention to detail pays off. Roman pan pizza is fluffy, moist, melt-in-your-mouth delicious thanks to its high dough hydration.

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist
Roman Pan Pizza

10. PIZZA ALLA PALA, Pizza Served on a Paddle From Rome

There is another type of rectangular pizza, sold by the slice from Rome.

Pizza alla Pala
Pizza alla Pala one of the many types of pizza in Italy

Pizza alla pala, or paddle pizza, is pizza from Rome that is surprisingly light and easy to digest thanks to its high-hydration dough at 80%.

The story goes that bakeries in Rome began selling it to use leftover bread dough. Historically, Roman bakers stretched their extra bread dough lengthwise, topped it with fresh ingredients, and sold it on wooden paddles.

Thus the name.

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist

Pizza alla pala is soft and simultaneously crunchy thanks to the hydration level and a long leavening process of up to 48 hours.

Characteristics of the Different Types of Pizza in Italy

Here’s a dirty little truth most Italians won’t admit. Sometimes, they are not even sure what type of pizza their eating! It’s not surprising, given some types of pizza are so close in Italy.

Thus we focused on going beyond the toppings in our list of the different types of pizzas in Italy. We looked beyond what tops a pizza to how Italians make and consume pizza in Italy.

Think dough hydration levels, cooking methods, shapes, and different serving, selling, and eating styles.

For Italians, these are the fundamentals or the building blocks of what makes the different types of pizza unique in Italy.

For tourists, understanding these differences means understanding what to expect when ordering pizza in Italy.

In general, there are two things that make understanding the different types of pizza in Italy confusing. Firstly, as illustrated above, there are several different types of pizza in Rome and Naples alone. Secondly, you can order the most popular types of pizza from Rome and Naples throughout Italy.

For example, in Turin, you can find Neapolitan pizza, Pinsa, Pizza al Taglio, and Pizza Romana, in addition to the type of pizza from Turin, Pizza al Padellino.

So what are the characteristics other than the region of origin that make the types of pizza in Italy unique? Over the last decade of eating pizza all over Italy, I’ve observed four main categories of fundamental differences in pizza.

Types of Pizza Dough Hydration Levels

Generally speaking, the types of pizza that originated in Rome favor high-hydration dough. These include Pinsa, Tonda, and Pizza Romana. Each of which has a crispy crust that’s easy to digest. 

In contrast, Neapolitana and Pizza Fritta, two types of pizza from Naples, have low-hydration dough. So instead of crispy crust, these types of pizza have addictively chewy, almost pillowy crusts.

Hydration level refers to the percentage of water to flour used in a recipe. To illustrate, think of how Neapolitan pizza is beloved for its pillowy, chewy crust. The AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) guidelines stipulate the absorption level of Neapolitan pizza dough should be between 55 and 62%.

In other words. Italians take the different types of pizza seriously enough that there’s certification around them starting with the dough.

If you’re curious to know more about how dough hydration works, here’s a quick video!

10 Types of Pizza in Italy Video Playlist

Types of Pizza Cooking Methods

There is more than one way to cook a pizza! In Italy, part of what makes pizza types unique is how you cook it. For example, Pizza Fritta, or in English fried pizza, is pizza Italians traditionally fried in oil to cook. It’s not pre-baked in the oven and then fried.

While Italians fry Pizza Fritta, they bake almost all other types of pizza in an oven in one of two ways. The first is directly on the oven’s surface, as seen with Neapolitan, Pinsa, and Pizza Tonda Romana. The second method is in a pan in the oven. You see this in Sicily with Sfincione, Torino with Pizza al Padellino, and even in Rome with Roman-Style pan pizza.

Combine the hydration level in the dough with the different cooking methods, and you get distinctly different types of pizza with unique qualities to each crust. More on each of the types of pizza below!

Types of Pizza Shapes in Italy

As a tourist ordering pizza in Italy, you might not know the specific hydration level of the dough or even see how it’s cooked. Once you smell it, you probably won’t even care!

Thankfully, the easiest way to differentiate between the different types of pizza in Italy is easy. Check out the shape of the pie.

Among the different types of pizza in Italy, there are four main shapes. Neapolitan, Tonda Romana, and Pizza al Padellino are examples of round pizza. Calzone and Pizza Fritta are crescent-shaped pizzas. While Sfincione, Pizza al Taglio, and Roman-Style pan pizza are rectangular.

Finally, Pinsa and Pizza alla Pala are examples of oval-shaped pizzas. So what’s the difference? Let’s look at just the oval types of pizza. Pinsa is an individually sized pizza, while Pizza alla Pala is an elongated oval sold by the slice or shared.

Thus the final point of differentiation between the types of pizza in Italy.

How to Eat Different Types of Pizza in Italy

Our final category of differences between the types of pizza in Italy deals with how you consume pizza. By that, we mean how Italians sell and serve different types of pizza in Italy and how you eat it. To explain, let’s start with the original Italian pizza, Pizza Napoletana.

You will find Neapolitan pizza sold at pizzerias and restaurants across Italy. Traditionally this type of pizza is sold as an individual entree for one person in a sit-down setting. What’s more, Neapolitan pizza is served unsliced as an individual entree. Hence Italians eat pizza with a fork in Italy as you see Paolo doing in the photo.

Italian pizza in Italy requires a knife and fork.
Paolo Eating Pizza in Italy

In contrast, other types of pizza in Italy, like Sfincione and Pizza al Taglio, are sold in bakeries by the slice and typically eaten by hand.

Types of Pizza in Italy in Summary

When you consider how many types of pizza there are in Italy, multiplied by the number of pizza toppings available, the combinations are mind-boggling.

There are even types of pizza in Italy that we haven’t talked about yet. Mustazzeddu, for example, is a rustic crostata-style pizza from Sardinia. There’s also Montanara, another type of fried pizza from Naples with toppings on the outside.

For our list, we kept it to the different types of pizza in Italy tourists are more likely to find and enjoy.

In the end, authentic Italian pizza can be fried or baked depending on the region it is from in Italy. Sometimes Italian pizza is round. Other times it’s square or rectangular with a thick or a thin crust. While some styles like Padellino and Neapolitan are served unsliced, others like Sfincione are sliced and sold by weight.

No matter the type of pizza, the thing that matters most to Italians when it comes to pizza is the ingredients. Italians favor fresh ingredients from Italy. Thus we feel strongly that Italian pizza is the best in the world.

Why Trust Us On the Types of Pizza in Italy

We’re Paolo and Brandy. Paolo was born and raised in Italy and brings native Italian knowledge to the team. I’m Brandy, an Executive Producer by trade with experience working for Food Network, Discovery, InStyle, and HBO before becoming a Co-Owner in ALOR Consulting with Paolo.

Together our experience in the hospitality, food, and beverage space includes Hilton Hotel Restaurants, Provenance Hotels, Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group, and numerous spirits and brewery clients.

Together we have been traveling in Italy for over a decade. Between us we have almost 100 years of pizza-eating experience, but who’s counting?

After becoming dual Italian American citizens, we moved to Italy to live out our early retirement dreams. Now we travel to Italy’s most popular destinations and explore hidden gems full-time from our home base in the Italian Alps. On ALOR Italy, is an Introverts Guide to Italy where we share tips to help you avoid crowds and save money on your next trip to Italy. Subscribe via email for a taste of la dolce vita in your inbox.

Pizza in Italy Photo Gallery

Just for fun, a few photos of the pizza we’ve loved devouring in Italy.

Eating in Italy

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