What Does Pizza Look Like in Italy? [Naple’s Perspective]

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Every county has its unique recipe for cooking pizza. Hence the taste and appearance of a pizza vary in different countries. However, authentic pizza made in Italy looks different from what we usually eat. Surprised, huh?

So what does pizza look like in Italy?

The genuine Neapolitan Italian pizza seems much different. While most pizzas have thick and tangy flavored tomato sauce, Italian-styled pizza uses pure tomato sauce, which has a garlic and oregano flavor. The sauce is not thick but corny; cheese strips are half melted and come with basil leaves and a thin crust.

Here you can learn about authentic Italian pizza and its types. Also, see the nutritional value of an authentic Italian pizza of Italy. 

What does a Real Italian Pizza Look Like? 

what does pizza look like in italy

Pizza was first made in Italy but is now famous globally. However, there are differences in looks and tastes between an actual Italian pizza and other options like American pizzas.

So how different is an authentic Italian pizza compared to another world’s famous American pizza in appearance? Here’s the answer.

The Appearance of a Real Italian Pizza

The Appearance of a Real Italian Pizza
  • Soupy Sauce 

The original Italian pizza’s sauce is not thick but rather soupy. Since they use pureed tomato sauce made with garlic over a super thin dough, it doesn’t get thick even while cooking, and so the cheese on the sauce floats over it. 

  • Floating Cheese Strips 

Usually, most pizza comes with melted cheese, but when it comes to the original Italian pizza, the cheese is partially melted. Strips of mozzarella cheese float over the sauce, making the food look different and the world’s best-looking pizza. 

  • Basil Leaf 

You will not find basil leaves on other styles of pizzas, but you can never imagine an authentic Italian pizza without basil leaves. It adds a difference in taste and appearance. 

  • Thin Crust 

For other pizzas, you can go for a thin, medium, and thick crust, but if it’s an authentic pizza from Italy, the crust will always be thin. That slim look makes the pizza look lucrative. 

What Does a Real Italian Pizza Taste Like? 

What Does a Real Italian Pizza Taste Like 

A genuine Italian pizza looks not only different but also tastes different. Let’s find out how an Italian pizza varies in taste compared to an American pizza. 

Doughy Dough 

So, what kind of pizza dough do you like? If it’s flaky, you would love having American pizza, but Italian is the right choice if you prefer a bread-type dough. 

They keep their dough narrow and leave no flaky vibes, for which the pizza dough will have doughy vibes even in your mouth. Most people prefer this kind of dough, so an Italian pizza is the world’s best.

No tangy Flavor 

Unlike American and other countries, Italian’s genuine pizza will not have a tangy flavor. It’s because Italians use pure tomato sauce. 

Herby Taste 

An actual pizza from Italy will taste more herby than other pizzas since they use oregano and basil leaf. Of these two ingredients, their pizza tastes better than America’s. 

It is More Cheesy 

Unlike other pizzas; a natural Italian pizza will taste cheesy. They use a significant amount of cheese strips and ensure they do not melt completely. This way, you get to have bites of cheese and thus can enjoy the proper taste of it.  

How Many Types of Pizzas in Italy? 

How Many Types of Pizzas in Italy 

Just like America, Italy also offers a variety of pizzas. You will find the authentic taste in all of them, but still, there are differences in the making process for which the taste will have a little change. That little change is undoubtedly excellent. Here are 7 different famous Italian pizzas. 

Pizza Tonda Romana 

You will love Tonda Romana pizza if you prefer a crunchy crust. The crust is cracked and dry, yet it tastes outstanding for being thin. 

Pizza Napoletana 

Pizza Napoletana is made carefully, so the outcome is satisfying. They make the dough using water, salt, yeast, and wheat flour. After the dough is ready, the pizzeria leaves it for 24 hours straight to let the dough rise. 

Pizzerias give the dough a disk shape with hands and add the necessary ingredients. It takes only 90 seconds to cook the pizza since it’s baked inside a wood-burning oven. They cook it at 900°F. 

Pizza Al Padellino 

Pizza al padellino is referred to as pan pizza. Such pizza can have a large variety of toppings on it. It’s cooked on a pan, and the crust is kept thick enough. After it’s cooked, the crust feels soft. It gets a beautiful brown color.

Pizza Alla Pala 

Pizzarias bake Alla pala inside electric ovens. They are not round and big shaped but small and square shaped. Because this pizza is made with leftover bread, the pizzeria has to stretch it lengthwise. 

Although the dough they create is not fresh, the ingredients are. The dough of pizza alla pala is highly hydrated. 

Pizza al Taglio 

Pizza al taglio is different in its size. You can find this pizza on the streets of Italy. People can ask for long or small square-shaped pizzas. The meaning of the name is “pizza by the cut.” 

Pizza Siciliana 

Pizza Siciliana is actually sold as a snack by bakeries. It’s pretty different because the crust is soft and thick. The dough is fluffy. Hence it gives a bread-type feel inside the mouth. 

Its toppings include tomato sauce, oregano, onion, anchovies, and cheese made of sheep’s milk. It also contains breadcrumbs because they can absorb extra oil from ingredients.

Pizza Fritta 

Pizza Fritta is the classic version of Neapolitan street food. The idea is to fry the dough instead of baking it. This idea first came across at the time of world war II.

Since the oven and mozzarella cheese got pricey, they had to fry the pizza instead. It also includes ingredients like ricotta, tomato, and mozzarella. They come in different shapes depending on a consumer’s preference.

How is Italian pizza different from American?

American PizzaItalian Pizza
ToppingsDiverseSingle or no toppings
SauceSlow cooked tangy tomato pureeFresh tomato puree with garlic and oregano
CheeseMore than one cheeseSingle cheese type


  • What kind of pizza do they eat in Italy? 

In most countries in the world, especially in Italy, they mostly eat Margherita pizza. This is the original pizza first introduced to the world by a queen. It’s also considered the pizza base all over the world. 

  • Is pizza in Italy thick or thin? 

Most Italian pizzas have a thin crust. It’s because they make the dough too soft and stretch it with their hands. However, you can also get thick-crust pizza in some places.

  • Is pizza round in Italy? 

Yes, an authentic Italian pizza is round. It’s because of the size. According to the True Neapolitan Pizza Association, the diameter of a pizza should be at most 13.7 inches. Hence the pizza shape will automatically get round. 

  • Where is the best pizza in the world?

The world’s best pizza is found in Italy. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Napoli, NA, Italy, is the best place for authentic Italian pizza. There is always a crowd before it, and a person must wait hours to get the chance to eat their pizza. 

Final Words 

If you live in America, Australia, or any other country where pizza is prominent, you must want to know what an authentic pizza looks like. Since you initially found pizza in Italy, a common question asked by non-Italians is, “what does pizza look like in Italy?” 

Authentic Italian pizza is different regarding both appearance and taste. Generally, Italian pizzas have a thin crust. The toppings are pure tomato sauce with garlic, Basil leaf, oregano, and cheese. The sauce’s texture is soupy, and the cheese is half melted. Hence cheese strips are seen floating over the sauce.