The Delights of Roman-Style Pizza by the Slice

The Delights of Roman-Style Pizza by the Slice

While Neapolitan pizza with its puffy crust and vibrant tomato sauce dominates the global spotlight, Rome boasts its own unique pizza masterpiece – pizza al taglio, or pizza by the slice. This rectangular delight offers a distinct flavor profile and a casual dining experience that’s become beloved by locals and tourists alike. So, ditch the round pies for a moment and embark on a delectable journey with us as we explore the delights of Roman-style pizza by the slice.

The Delights of Roman-Style Pizza by the Slice
The Delights of Roman-Style Pizza by the Slice

Beyond the Neapolitan Classic

The origins of pizza al taglio can be traced back to ancient Rome, where flatbreads were a staple food. However, the pizza we know today emerged in the late 19th century. Unlike their Neapolitan counterparts, Roman bakers opted for a different approach. They crafted a rectangular pizza base using a high-hydration dough, resulting in a lighter, crispier crust. This rectangular shape allowed bakers to pre-bake large sheets of pizza, which could then be sliced and sold throughout the day, catering to busy Romans on the go. Pizza al taglio quickly gained popularity for its affordability, convenience, and unique flavor profile.

Exploring the Characteristics of Roman Pizza al Taglio

Roman-style pizza al taglio offers a distinct sensory experience. Here’s what sets it apart:

The Crust: Made with high-hydration dough, the Roman pizza crust boasts a satisfyingly crisp exterior and a light, airy interior. This creates a delightful textural contrast with each bite.

The Sauce: Unlike Neapolitan pizzas with their generous tomato sauce base, Roman pizzas are often lighter on the sauce. This allows the other ingredients to shine through, creating a more balanced flavor profile.

The Toppings: Roman pizza al taglio celebrates a wider variety of toppings beyond the classic mozzarella and tomato. Think creamy ricotta cheese, fragrant rosemary, salty prosciutto, and seasonal vegetables like artichokes and zucchini.

The Slice: Forget the individual portions of Neapolitan pizza. Roman pizza is enjoyed by the slice, allowing you to sample a variety of flavors during a single visit. This communal style of eating adds to the casual and social experience.

Enjoying Pizza al Taglio Like a Roman

Pizza al taglio isn’t just about the food; it’s a cultural experience. Here’s how to immerse yourself in the Roman pizza scene:

Visit a Pizzarium: Skip the fancy restaurants and head to a traditional pizzarium. These casual eateries showcase a vibrant display of pre-baked pizzas, allowing you to choose your desired slices.

Point and Order: Don’t be shy! Simply point to the slices that catch your eye and the friendly staff will weigh and serve them on a paper plate.

Grab and Go or Linger: Roman pizza al taglio is perfect for a quick bite on the go. However, many pizzerias offer small standing tables where you can enjoy your slices and soak up the local atmosphere.

Pair with a Drink: Complete your pizza experience with a classic Roman beverage. Opt for a refreshing Peroni beer, a crisp glass of Frascati wine, or a simple bottle of water.


Roman-style pizza al taglio offers a delicious and accessible way to experience Roman cuisine. Its unique crust, diverse toppings, and casual dining style make it a favorite among locals and a must-try for any visitor to the Eternal City. So, on your next trip to Rome, be sure to ditch the guidebooks and follow your nose to the alluring aroma of a nearby pizzarium. Grab a slice (or two!), savor the distinct flavors, and experience the joy of Roman pizza al taglio. After all, sometimes the best way to discover a culture is through its food, and Roman pizza by the slice offers a delightful and unforgettable taste of Rome.