For Romans, Pizzarium is an institution. After all, Gabriele Bonci’s acclaimed pizzeria is said to be the one that reinvented the Roman ‘pizza al taglio’ concept. And that’s good enough reason for having it on any Roman holiday list.
Located off the beaten path in Rome’s Quartiere Trionfale, Bonci’s eatery specializes in pizza by the slice or, as the Romans call it, ‘pizza al taglio’. Pizza by the cut is a traditional Roman approach to pizza making, which has been, let’s admit it, misused by fast food restaurants throughout the years. This has led to lowering the quality of both the dough and the toppings, turning it into a cheap snack. But this is how Pizzarium is different: Bonci brought back the passion and skill involved in making rectangular pizza, turning it back into a convenient Roman classic that uses authentic and high quality ingredients.
Bonci’s crust is a bit of a black sheep of the pizza tradition – it basically doesn’t fall in any category. Obscenely thick and airy, the Pizzarium signature dough distinguishes itself from the popular thin and crispy crusts. When you first sink your teeth into it, you’d be tempted to compare it to a focaccia, but both its lightness and elasticity put it in a league of its own. We were left to wonder how this black magic is even possible: how can a dough that’s baked, hit with flavours and sharp ingredients, cut, and left on its own... make it to your plate in perfect shape? In truth, it doesn’t seem to be any spell concoction involved. Bonci attributes the success of the dough to 3 elements: using high quality organic flour of the right kind (tipo 0 and tipo 1), slow leavening and patience.
And then there’s the toppings. Like a rebellious kid, the Bonci pizza includes local and authentic Roman products combined with heretical ingredients. You’ll find the familiar Roman puntarelle, carciofi, fiori di zucca (zucchini blossoms), coppa (Italian dry-cured pork), mortadella mixed with the less traditional raisins, fennel, foie gras, figs, duck breast and rabbit, and you’ll be tempted to sample everything en masse.
Deeply rooted in Italian agriculture and simultaneously anchored in contemporary cuisine, Bonci’s pizza al taglio will give you a present taste of Italy and Roman gastronomy. Enjoyed on the go or on the spot, this savoury treat can easily become the most memorable gastronomical souvenir you bring home from Rome.