Europe Italy Taste Travel

7 secrets of the perfect Italian pizza

italian pizza - tips

Does anyone hate Italian pizza? Please, I don’t believe that such a person exists 🙂 Thin, crisp crust, basil aroma and stretching cheese (more cheese, more cheese!)… We all know this very well. But how to achieve this delicious effect? I am gonna tell you 7 secrets that will help you to prepare the best Italian pizza! Say no to deep-frozen junk pizza from supermarket!

You could find out in our previous post, that we came to Rome to explore the Italian food during the food tour by the Walks of Italy. The highlight of our trip was a “behind the scenes” lesson of pizza preparation! We would not be ourselves if we don’t share with you what we have learned about the best Italian pizza…

italian pizza - oven


The most famous pizza comes from Naples. In 1870 pizzeria Da Michele was opened here, which initially served only one kind of this delicacy – with tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Several years later, the most popular version was founded – pizza Margherita, with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. Legend has it that its name is a tribute to Queen Margherita, who chose this one from various types of pizza prepared to honor her. Why? The ingredients reminded her of the Italian flag. Neapolitan pizza is different from this one originating from Rome – in Rome version, cake is more brittle and crunchy, this Naples one is softer, easier to chew and obligatory has burnt edges (cornicione). Our pizzaiolo turned out to be a native Neapolitan, so our pizzas were prepared that way. So what’s the magic behind the best Italian pizza?



It must contain only four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. Of course, not just random ones! Italians take great care to maintain the high standards of pizza and even set up a special organization (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana), which publishes detailed guidelines. For example: flour must have the consistency of talc (highly refined type 00) without any additives, water should be moderately hard, only sea salt must be used, and the yeast must have an average acidity. Phew. Ok, now the fun begins. To make sure that all the ingredients are perfectly joined, you should knead the dough for 10 minutes and then for another 20 minutes to form a perfect ball. Well, this time a little help from mixer is allowed 😉 But wait, don’t exaggerate, you can’t heat up a dough too much! And watch out for pH – must equal to 5.87 (seriously !!!). I believe in you – you can make it. Now the dough quietly rises, and you have 2 hours free.


Relaxed? Now get back to work. From the risen dough, you have to form smaller balls (panetti) and again you have time to rest. This time the dough rises for 6h! After this time, we take the ball and start the formation of pizza. No, no, not like in the movies, tossing a large disk of dough from one hand to the other. We start from making a crust (approx. 1-2 cm). Then begin to push the dough from center outwards, while turning over on the table. After a while you have a nice flat disc (np more than 0.4 cm thick). To make it a bit easier, you can gently let dough hang from the edge of the table – it will stretch under its own weight. But remember – no rolling pin!

italian pizza - dough


The best one is made of the San Marzano tomatoes, which grow on the fertile volcanic soil  of the slopes of Vesuvius. After baking, sauce will be thick and uniform – all the water should evaporate.We pour one big spoon in  the center of dough and distribute in circular motion to its crust.

italian pizza - sauce


Yes, yes – we will need the famous Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. I wrote about this cheese here already. You have to spread sliced strips or grated mozzarella evenly over the dough.


Now we add some freshly picked basil leaves. At the end we pour the olive oil, preferably extra virgin directly from the copper canister – in the same direction as we distributed tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It’s probably some spell to make the magic work 😉

italian pizza - ingredients


Pizza lands straight on the stones in the wood-fire oven (eg. oak or ash wood), heated to exactly 485 C degrees. Apparently, it is the most critical factor in the whole process of preparation. If only I have a little more space in the kitchen for such a useful oven… When the pizza is inside, it has to be constantly rotated and controlled, so that each part of it is equally cooked. Cooking time – less than 60-90 seconds. And finally…

italian pizza - oven


Remember that the best Italian pizza is that one straight from the oven. You should eat it within 5-6 minutes. Wonderful aroma of freshly baked dough will certainly make your pizza disappear in the blink of an eye. Yummy!

italian pizza - tips


PS. Michal was cheating and added some olives and artichokes to his pizza 🙂

Click here to book your perfect hotel in Rome!

Like it? Pin it!

We took a lesson how to make the best Italian pizza in Rome, Italy and this is what we learned. Next time make your pizza like a local!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 14:25

    many many years ago as a small boy my father would send me to a tavern at the end of our street to get a pizza. This pizza if i recall was mushroom and some type of meat. This pizza had an aroma that i have never smelled again in my life….to me it was heavenly. I would not be doubt if the owner was first generation Italian. Do you know of any much less used ingredient that would create such an usual smell ? Mike in Louisville

  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 14:47

    Honestly, I don’t know! Must have been some secret ingredient 😉

  • Reply
    Dave Anderson
    May 3, 2017 at 13:44

    My wife and I are always looking for new restaurants to try out and new places to visit. Like you mentioned, the best pizza is from Italy and my wife and I would love to visit all of Europe but especially Italy. I think that it would be a fun way to connect and to learn about the culture. In the meantime, we are going to have restaurants and pizzerias like yours to prepare ourselves for the culture.

    • Reply
      May 3, 2017 at 13:46

      Italian food is really amazing! Hope you will visit Italy one day 🙂

  • Reply
    Deb Pearl
    November 1, 2017 at 11:21

    I have never had homemade Italian pizza like that before. It sounds and looks amazing! That is really cool that inside the oven the cooking time is less than 60-90 seconds! That’s one hot oven if it can cook it that fast! Thank you for all the fun information!

  • Reply
    Ronald Amon
    August 28, 2021 at 16:51

    More sauce. It’s not gold. Stop smearing a red color on the crust and say you’ve sauced it. You haven’t. Sauce can be healthy. Sauce can be tasty. Generous sauce or we never return.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
    Cookies settings
    Privacy & Cookie policy
    Privacy & Cookies policy
    Cookie name Active

    Privacy Policy

    What information do we collect?

    We collect information from you when you register on our site or place an order. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address or mailing address.

    What do we use your information for?

    Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.

    How do we protect your information?

    We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information. We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to?keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be kept on file for more than 60 days.

    Do we use cookies?

    Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business. If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders by contacting customer service. Google Analytics We use Google Analytics on our sites for anonymous reporting of site usage and for advertising on the site. If you would like to opt-out of Google Analytics monitoring your behaviour on our sites please use this link (

    Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

    We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


    The minimum information we need to register you is your name, email address and a password. We will ask you more questions for different services, including sales promotions. Unless we say otherwise, you have to answer all the registration questions. We may also ask some other, voluntary questions during registration for certain services (for example, professional networks) so we can gain a clearer understanding of who you are. This also allows us to personalise services for you. To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared. You can choose not to have such data shared with the Guardian from these sources by logging into your account and changing the settings in the privacy section. After you have registered, and with your permission, we may send you emails we think may interest you. Newsletters may be personalised based on what you have been reading on At any time you can decide not to receive these emails and will be able to ‘unsubscribe’. Logging in using social networking credentials If you log-in to our sites using a Facebook log-in, you are granting permission to Facebook to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth and location which will then be used to form a Guardian identity. You can also use your picture from Facebook as part of your profile. This will also allow us and Facebook to share your, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings. If you remove the Guardian app from your Facebook settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a Google log-in, you grant permission to Google to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth, sex and location which we will then use to form a Guardian identity. You may use your picture from Google as part of your profile. This also allows us to share your networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Google account settings. If you remove the Guardian from your Google settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a twitter log-in, we receive your avatar (the small picture that appears next to your tweets) and twitter username.

    Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

    We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

    Updating your personal information

    We offer a ‘My details’ page (also known as Dashboard), where you can update your personal information at any time, and change your marketing preferences. You can get to this page from most pages on the site – simply click on the ‘My details’ link at the top of the screen when you are signed in.

    Online Privacy Policy Only

    This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

    Your Consent

    By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

    Changes to our Privacy Policy

    If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.
    Save settings
    Cookies settings
    Simple Share Buttons
    Simple Share Buttons