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  • Writer's pictureErmanno Lelli

Pizza Romana better than Napoletana?

“You’ve Had Enough Pizza Napoletana,

Let's try the Pizza Romanaㄧ An exceptionally crusty, thin, topped to the edge."

What's Romana Pizza?

Pizza Romana (Italian pizza Romana) is a type of pizza that originated in Rome but is now widespread, particularly in Central Italy. Eating classic Roman pizza is an experience not to be missed; there are a few things you may want to know before taking the first bite.

Pizza Napoletana vs. Romana

Everybody knows that Italy is famed for being the origin of pizza. Did you know that Italy has two distinct types of pizza? There are two most famous types of pizzas in ItalyPizza Napoletana and Pizza Romana.

Pizza Napoletana

Pizza Napoletana has a soft thick dough, and a large airy crust around the sides (called "cornicione" in Italian). The traditional Napoletana Pizza is made with simple, local, and fresh ingredients such as flour, yeast, salt, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella cheese, water, fresh tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil. The dough must ferment slowly (usually over 12 hours). The pizza is typically 10′′ to 12′′ (25cm to 30cm) in size, not completely round, with 100g–120g of toppings not evenly spread over the dough, cooked for roughly 60–90 seconds at a temperature of 800 F – 900 F (425 C to 480 C), and served as an individual portion.

Pizza Napoletana is listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. Additionally, it is a TSG (Traditional Specialty Guaranteed) product in Europe. Fundamental guidelines have been set to differentiate True Neapolitan Pizza (AVPN-Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) from many other types of pizza.

Pizza Romana

Roman pizza, on the other hand, is defined by its extreme thinness and crunchiness. Pizza Romana's base has a thin crust; however, it is not as soft as Napoletana. Additionally, its edge is low, making it very easy to differentiate from the Neapolitan pizza!

In general, it is a crustier pizza (scrocchiarella in Roman dialect). Like Napoletana, it can be made with local and fresh ingredients like flour, yeast, salt, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella cheese, water, and extra virgin olive oil. Fermentation of the dough takes between 4-6 hours. Typically, it is cooked in a wood-burning oven set to 715 – 750 ° F (380 C - 400 C) temperature.

“I enjoy eating pizza with a well-seasoned sauce and a lot of cheese. This is the core of Romana. Flavors that are robust and bold... Sharper-tasting cheeses... a variety of garden-grown veggies... or even heftier meats, such as salami or sausage. And it pairs beautifully with red wine.”

Varieties of Pizza Romana

There are two distinct varieties of Roman pizza offered in Italy:

  • Pizza al taglio or pizza al trancio (Italian for - "pizza by the slice"). This is often rectangular and has a thicker foundation than focaccia. It is typically served as a takeaway dish.

  • Pizza tonda (Whole round pizzas) comes with a thin base. The majority of sit-down restaurants in Rome serve pizza in this style, and indeed, this is perhaps the most often served pizza style in restaurants in Italy. It is often called pizza Bassa (low pizza) to differentiate it from the Neapolitan style pizza Alta (high pizza). One of the main differences in the dough ingredients from the Neapolitan style is oil, which makes the base crispier.

However, the latter may not be consistent in name across Italy; it is referred to as "Pizza Bassa" in some regions.

"Pizza al taglio (Roman-style pizza) is poised to revolutionize the pizza industry in the United States." - Academia Romana de Pizza.

Order your pizza Romana at Casa Pasta by Ermanno Lelli or order online.

We deliver it to you!

Make Roman-style Pizza Al Taglio At Home

If you're unable to buy a slice of Roman pizza nearby, you can definitely make it yourself. In some ways, it's easier than making traditional pizza because you're not required to toss or shape the dough into a round. To try this famous Roman street food, follow the recipe below.


For the Al Taglio dough

  • 4 cups (628g) bread flour

  • 1 tsp. sea salt

  • 4 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 packet active dry yeast

  • 1 cup (237ml) warm water

For the Topping

  • Pizza toppings of your choice (e.g., sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, onions, etc.)

  • 1 cup (113g) shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup (240g) pizza sauce


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix yeast with 1/4 cup water. Allow to rest 10 minutes or until bubbly.

  2. Add flour to the water and yeast mixture bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix until well combined. Use a dishtowel to cover the bowl. Allow ten minutes to rest it at room temperature.

  3. After ten minutes, add the salt and water mixture to the dough bowl. Mix until well incorporated.

  4. Now it is time to fold the dough. Wet one hand and place it under the dough ball. Grab the dough, lift approximately a quarter of it out, stretch it, and fold it over the dough's center. Repeat this process by rotating the bowl 90 degrees. Continue in this way until you've completed the circuit. Once this process is complete, cover the bowl and set aside the dough for another 10-15 minutes to rest.

  5. Repeat step-4 three to four times, or until the dough has less stickiness and is easier to handle.

  6. Brush the baking sheet with olive oil and place the dough gently in it. Then brush the dough also with some olive oil. Wrap with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

  7. Take out the dough from the refrigerator. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for an hour or more.

  8. Preheat the oven to 500°F before proceeding.

  9. Grease the baking sheet and transfer dough into it.

  10. Fill the sheet with the dough by gently giving it a rectangle shape and retaining the air pockets.

  11. Apply sauce to dough with a pastry brush. On top, disperse cheese and any favorite toppings.

  12. Bake for ten minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the dough has turned golden brown.

  13. Slice into rectangles. Enjoy!

Chef’s Notes

In a hurry? If you're looking for a quick, albeit less authentic alternative, get a piece of focaccia from the local bakery and jump to step 11. You are most welcome.


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