The Best Pizza Restaurants in Italy

While pizza is to be found in just about every corner of the world, its popularity in its land of origin has never diminished.  Pizza is as popular today in Italy as it ever has been.  Have you ever wondered where in Italy the best pizzas can be found?

Seeing as much of Italy appears to be fuming over the latest escapade of the Berlusconi government, I felt it might be nice to take a break from politics for a moment and to look at a distinctly more appetising subject, which is also much easier to digest: pizza.

Italian author Orietta Boncompagni Ludovisi has had her book “The Best Pizzerias In Italy” republished some five times since it first appeared in 1996.  Each time a new edition of Boncompagni Ludovisi’s pizza book hits the bookshops of Italy, it sells like hot cakes.  Perhaps that should be “sells like hot pizzas”.

Anyway, I was reading a copy of what I’ve been told by our local news-stand is one of Italy’s best selling travel magazines, Dove, and I found a delicious article all about pizza.  Part of said article was a list of the top ten pizzerias in all of Italy in the opinion of Boncompagni Ludovisi, who is probably Italy’s number one pizza expert.



I thought it would be interesting for the rest of the world to know the names of what are considered by an Italian pizza expert to be the top pizzerias in Italy.   And once they know, pizza fans the world over will have a better idea of where in Italy they should be spending their holidays.

Before reading on, in which Italian towns and cities do you think the best pizzerias in Italy are to be found?

OK, here’s the top five.  For the other five, you’ll have to buy the March 2010 edition of Dove.  By the way, ‘Dove’ is pronounced ‘dough-vay’, and is Italian for ‘where’.

The Top 5 Pizzerias in Italy

As Naples is reputedly the place where pizza was invented, it should perhaps not come as much surprise to see that four out of the top five pizzerias in Italy are in Naples.

What might be a bit of a surprise is the location of pizzeria number five.

In assessing the quality of Italy’s pizza parlours, Italian pizza expert Boncompagni Ludovisi not only takes into account the quality of the pizzas, she also considers service, ambience, the wine list, and the overall experience.

Eating in one of the restaurants listed below is more than just ‘going for a pizza’, it’s also a excellent way to experience Italian culture first hand.

Number 1 – The Best Pizzeria in Italy 2010


Naples, Italy

Brandi – Antica Pizzeria Della Regina D’Italia in Naples, Salita S. Anna di Palazzo, 1-2, 80100 Napoli, Italia – looks lovely from the photos on the website.

Opening hours: 12:30 – 3:30, 7:30 – 12:00 (never closes)

Website: Brandi

Location via Google Map: Brandi

Number 2

Cantanapoli, Via Chiatamone, 36, Naples

Opening hours: 12:30 – 3:30, 7:30 – 12:00 (never closes)

Website: Cantanapoli

Location via Google Map: Cantanapoli

Number 3

Don Salvatore A Mergellina, Via Mergellina, 4, Naples – rather elegant for a pizza parlour. Lovely location too.

Opening hours: 11:30 – 3:30, 7:30 – 11:30 (closed Wednesdays)

Website: Don Salvatore A Mergellina

Location via Google Map: Don Salvatore A Mergellina

Number 4

Lombardi A Santa Chiara, Via Benedetto Croce, 59, Naples

Opening hours: 11:30 – 3:30, 7:30 – 11:30 (closed Mondays)

Website: Does not exist

Location via Google Map: Lombardi A Santa Chiara

And last, but by no means least, one of the best pizzerias in Italy which is not in Naples!

Number 5


Imperia, Italy

Frà Diavolo, Corso Garibaldi, 1, Diano Maria, Imperia (Liguria)

Opening hours: 12:00 – 2:30, 6:00 – 12:00 (never closes)

Website: Fra Diavolo

Location via Google Map: Fra Diavolo

There you have them, what are considered as being the finest pizzerias in all Italy.

If you want to eat real pizza, you now know where to go.

Buon appetito!

Photo credits:

Pizza photo by Valerio Capello

Naples photo by JJKDC on Flickr

Imperia photo by Anja Timmermans


Dove Magazine, March 2010 Edition: Miseria, pizza and nobilità

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    • says

      Yes, Regina, I’d like to return to Naples too – for a pizza!

      I have some Neapolitan friends, so I’ll ask them about these places and see if they agree.



  1. says

    Thanks for the list. I can’t wait to get back to Naples and try those places…..guess I’m gonna have to get that book too. Naples-style pizza is my favorite, so I’m interested to see your report on the pizzeria in Liguria.

    • says

      Hi Kathy,

      I guess I’m going to have to head on over to Imperia pretty soon! Well, the warm weather seems to be on its way!

      If you do make it to one of the Naples’ pizzeria, do let us know how you got on! And that book should keep pizza freaks happy for years!

      Buona pizza!


  2. says

    Two surprises here:

    First, yeah – Liguria? Interesting.

    Second, no Di Matteo in Naples?!? (My favorite!) I’ve never eaten at Brandi, though, so obviously I have some work to do upon my next visit…


    • says

      Hi Jessica,

      Yes, the Liguria pizza place raised my eyebrows a little too!

      I shall check out Di Matteo on the pizza expert’s site.

      If you do make it to Brandi before me, which is quite likely, do let us know how you found it.

      Boy, is your job tough! 😉



  3. says

    Great info – thanks. We will certainly have to try next time we are in Naples. One of our local pizza restaurants Mamma Rosa in Ortezzano, Le Marche, won the award for the 2nd best pizza in the whole of Europe a couple of years ago!

  4. says

    oh please pretty please would you consider posting the other 5 pizzerias from the Dove article for those of us who can’t get our hands on copy? :)

    • says

      Hi Madeline,

      Alas, and despite your extremely kind words, I don’t think I can acquiesce to your request -on the grounds that I’ve already ‘borrowed’ rather a lot of content from Dove. If I use any more, they might become grumpy and set legal dogs upon me.

      It is possible to order back copies, and if you are interested, I can point you in the right direction – they cost double the cover price, but my copy is not to hand, so I can’t tell you what the price is!

      Will post the price another time.



  5. Riccardo Mastronuzzi says

    I agree with the author for the choice. anyway Brandi offers ( or offered since some time ago) also the delicious “Frittura all’Italiana”. how can I translate ( fried things italian way) ? taste them too and don’t mind about calories. simply enjoy. hi all
    P.S. I lived for 6 hungry years about 50 meters from Brandi… still missing the place

  6. alain.ghazal says

    I love Italy so much, and I love italian food, I’m a chef and my dream is to visit italy and to develop my work experience there.

  7. Rachel S says

    I recently visited the famous Pizzeria Da Michele of Napoli (not listed here) and was not impressed although there was a hour-long wait to get in! The crust was too thin – amazed since Neapolitan pizza is supposedly monitored here – and the toppings watery and runny. I’m sure I’ll return to try again.

    I have only heard of Pizzeria Brandi, but will soon look into all the Napoli listings. Thank you!

    • says

      Some of the more famous places are not as good as their reputations suggest – probably as a result of a change in management or pizza maker.

      Generally, pizza in Naples is thicker than pizza found in other parts of Italy – it’s not deep pan, but is certainly not thin.

      Trying again might be a good idea – everybody has their off-days – even the best pizza restaurants!



  8. Laurel Barton says

    We ate at Brandi in December based on this list. While it was fine, it was not the best pizza we have eaten in Italy. Many tourists in the restaurant, few/no locals. Actually liked Dar Poeta in Rome much better. In fact, we found many pizze in Naples and Sorrento to be a bit soggy in the crust, as thought they rushed them from the oven.

  9. Andrei says

    Cant wait for my trip to Italy, i am planning to eat pizza every day, maybe even two or three times :))….so i will try for sure the places you recommended.

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