Prehistoric times Stone-oven baked
"flat bread" is eaten by most early
79 AD In the ashes
of Pompeii, evidence is later found of a flat flour
that was baked and widely eaten at that time in Pompeii
and in nearby
Neopolis, the Greek colony that became Naples. Also
found were shops
complete with marble slabs and other tools of the
trade which resemble the conventional pizzeria. The
Museo Nazionale at Naples displays a statue from Pompeii
which because of it¹s stance is called "pizzaiolo".
1522 Tomatoes were
brought back to Europe from the New World (Peru) by
the Spanish. Originally thought to be poisonous, the
poorer people of Naples added the tomatoes to their
yeast dough and created the first simple pizza as
we know it. All of Italy proclaimed the Neapolitan
pies to be the best.
17th century Pizza
has achieved a local popularity among visitors to
Naples who would venture into the poorer sections
to taste this peasant dish made by men called "pizzaioli".
1809 The first "true"
pizzeria with seating, prior to this pizzerias were
all street stalls. Antica Pizzeria Port Alba is still
open today in Naples.
1889 Umberto I, King
of Italy, and Queen Margherita di Savoia, are in
Naples on holiday. They call to their palace the most
popular of the
pizzaioli, Raffaele Esposito, to taste his specialties.
He prepares three
kinds, but it is the pizza with mozzarella, basil
and tomatoes (in the
colors of the Italian flag) that the Queen like best.
He names the pizza
after the Queen, and calls it "Pizza Margherita".
This pizza sets the
standard by which today¹s pizza evolved as well
as firmly establishing
Naples as the pizza capitol of the world. The Queen
sends him a thank you letter, which is on display
at the pizzeria, now called "Pizzeria Brandi".
1945 American G.I.s
stationed in Italy during World War II bring home
taste for pizza back to the United States.
1995 With "pizza"
exploding around the world, the original purity and
quality standards are becoming lost outside Naples.
band together and create the "Associazione Vera
Pizza Napoletana". This
organization is dedicated to preserving the history,
quality and techniques
of authentic Neapolitan pizza around the world.
1998 To cement their
efforts, the European Union grants "D.O.C."
governmental status to the pizzaioli and their exacting
2003 Pizzeria Piccola
opens in Wisconsin and is dedicated to presenting
authentic, Neapolitan-style pizza!