Florence, Italy: The 3 Best Pizzas!
Amici di' Ponte Vecchio Pizza
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Friends Pub Pizza
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We love pizza and I'm sure that many of you readers do, too. Ancient Romans ate focaccia topped with spices and oil, but the actual pizza the way we know it today was invented in the 19th century. A round focaccia topped with the colors of the Italian flag- tomato sauce(red) mozzarella (white) and basil (green)- was created in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy during her visit to Napoli. The Pizza Margherita is a classic and remains popular to this day (it's one of my favorites, too).
Here in Italy, there are many kinds of pizza because of all the different regions. In Tuscany and in the north, pizza tends to have a thin crust, while the further south you go, the thicker the crust gets. In Sicily, for example, they make sfincione- a pizzaso thick that it is baked in a rectangular sheet and cut into square pieces. Which one is the best? Well, that depends on your personal taste.
My husband and I like thin crust. My criteria for a perfect pizza are the following: delicious crust that is delicate and cooked thoroughly (no raw center!), tasty marinara sauce and topped with good quality cheese.
Here is my list of the top 3 pizzas in Florence (in order of personal preference):
1. Amici di' Ponte Vecchio (Via dei Bardi): Just steps from the Ponte Vecchio, this little forno opened recently and makes wonderful schiacciata, panini and amazing pizza. Everything is very reasonably priced and the pizzas are cooked fresh to order. We get their pizza often. Sometimes, we bring home a simple Pizza Margherita and add fresh rucola (arugula) on top. It's unbelievably good.
2. Pizzeria Toto (corner of Via Dante Alighieri & Via dei Cerchi): Recently opened, the owners are from Napoli and they make traditional southern pizza, but not too thick. They offer a variety of pizzas and you can even get it with mozzarella di buffala, which is the best mozzarella in the world!
3. Friends Pub (Borgo San Jacopo): When an Italian acquaintance of ours told us that this pub makes 'the best pizza in town' we thought he was joking because they don't even advertise as a pizzeria. The owners are Chinese and this pub is FULL of foreign students and tourists. During the World Cup, my husband and I went in to watch a game and we noticed everyone eating pizza. We decided to try it and- WOW! It's really good. It's also the thinnest pizza I have ever had- we're talking paper thin.
So there you have it- three of our favorite pizzas in Florence. Of course, there are MANY other places to try pizza like The Pizza Man (award winning pizza and calzone), Gusta Pizza (owners are also from the south), and Borgo Antico (delicious vegetarian pizza). Thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist