About nine years ago I was in Rome with my family and we went to visit the Vatican.
However, our visit was cut short before it even began. As my mum and I walked up the road leading to St Peter’s Square we suddenly found ourselves taken along by a swarm of people crowding to get in. We knew Vatican City would be busy but this was unreal! A passer by kindly informed us that no, this was not normal, there was in fact a celebration for the Pope taking place today and if we just wanted to see St Peter’s Basilica we had no chance. We should come back tomorrow was his suggestion. We didn’t need telling twice. We tried to turn around but there was no way the crowd was going to let us back out, so we struck out diagonally across the crowd fighting small old ladies with canes and grumpy men waving their hats in our faces.
We finally emerged unscathed from the mobs, and found ourselves in a small side street with a number of cafes and shops. Hungry after all the effort we had just exerted we decided it was time for food. Low and behold my Dad and brother had beat us too it and were sitting on the curb up the street eating the best looking pizza I had ever seen. They had missed the barrage of people as they had decided to skip the basilicia planning to meet us afterwards and had headed off to entertain themsleves in the form of pizza.
We sat down and joined them for what we all agreed was the tastiest pizza we had ever eaten. Nine years on, we all still carry a very very fond memory of the day we found this pizza place and gorged ourselves senseless on fresh tasty pizza.
So, when I was back in Rome after all this time I couldn’t help but think about this pizza place. I had no idea of the name, or where it was, other than ‘somewhere’ near Vatican city. Was it even still there? Would it be as good? Was it that great at the time, or were we all just tired and hungry.
The day we went to visit it I poked my head down all the side lanes just in case. I had no luck before we visited the basilica, but on the way to the Vatican Muesums there it was! As soon as I saw it I knew. As we approached though I was not convinced about what we were going to find. We were in the MIDDLE of a tourist area, where every resturant is selling over priced, tatseless food and charging throught the roof for table service. Is this really were we found this glorious pizza? we checked the menu and the prices were about the same as we had seen them in other areas of the city, they were by no means expensive and the pizza’s coming out made my mouth water.
We went in and ordered a couple of slizes to try it out. The pizza’s come out on large rectangular trays and are cut depending on how big a slice you ask for. It’s weighed to determine the price (the price per kilo depends on the topping) and put back in the oven quickly to make sure it is piping hot as they hand it over on a cardboard plate.
Wow, we were not disappointed. This pizza was great, better than great, it was sensational! Hot, crispy, light and fresh and about 16 other varities to chose from inside. What more could you ask for.
Needless to say we took turns to make a few more trips inside, while the other guarded the spot on the curb from the steady flow of customers jostling to be served and secure their own curb side seat.