Roman Pizza vs Neapolitan Pizza - Is There a Difference? (2023)

May 29, 2023Millie Ward

It may be one of the longest running debates in Italian cuisine history whether Roman-style (aka Roma) pizza or Neapolitan-style (aka Napoli) is better. In our opinion, if you’re a pizza-lover, you’re a winner either way (but we might be biased!) 

You might be wondering; isn’t all Italian pizza the same? 

There are many different types of authentic Italian pizza, but Neapolitan (aka Napoli or Napolitan) and Roman Pizza are two of the most well-known pizza styles and the styles that you’re most likely to receive at foodservice venues offering pizza. 

Margherita Pizza Sliced

So, what’s the bottom line?

Is there actually a difference between Roman and Neapolitan/Napoli Pizza?

While these two types of pizza share similarities, there are a few key differences between them.

Neapolitan (aka Napoli) Pizza

Traditionally, Neapolitan pizzas absorb more air while being kneaded, resulting in a softer dough and higher, fluffier crust. The dough is made with water, flour, yeast and salt and excludes any type of oil or oily ingredients, unlike Roman-style pizza dough. 

Neapolitan pizzas can cook in as little as 50-90 seconds, depending on the temperature and type of Neapolitan pizza. They’re also traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven

The most traditional Neapolitan pizza toppings are Marinara (tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, oil) and Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and oil). 

If you love a softer, more chewy pizza base, Neapolitan pizza is the one for you!

Topped Margherita Pizza - Cooked and Uncut

Roman Pizza

On the other hand, Roman pizza is for those who are more partial to a crispier, crunchier base. Traditional roman pizzas feature a thinner dough and more crumbly crust as the dough is made of soft wheat flour, water, yeast, salt and olive oil. The addition of olive oil helps stretch the dough, resulting in the classic Roman thin crust! 

There are multiple types of Roman pizzas, but traditionally, all of them take longer to cook than Neapolitan pizzas, so that the oven can dry the dough and make it crispy.

This thin-crust pizza style is not traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven and is instead often cooked using an electric or gas deck oven. The most famous and traditional Roman pizza toppings are tomato sauce, mozzarella, cheese, anchovies, basil pecorino cheese and pepper, but you can top them with anything you like! 

Garlic and Parmesan Sliced Pizza

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