Italy wants Unesco recognition for its Neapolitan pizza

March 7, 2016

Italian pizza, and more precisely Neapolitan pizza, is different than any other pizza in the world. Even to Italians themselves, “pizza alla napoletana” is very specific and cannot be confused with anything else. That’s why it shouldn't be surprising that the Belpaese wants Unesco to recognize one of its gastronomic symbols, so to distinguish it from rivals from all over the world - such as, for example, New York pizza.

The proposal of including Neapolitan pizza-making in the Unesco’s prestigious cultural heritage 2016 list doesn’t only come from Italians, but from people living in every corner of the planet, from Argentina to Japan: more than 850,000 signatures were collected and the Unesco commission recently and unanimously confirmed the candidacy of Neapolitan pizza-making, as proposed by the Italian government.

Unesco motivated its decision to include the proposal in its list by saying that the art of pizza-making has always been and still is, by no other means, a central element of Neapolitan and Italian identity, a true symbol of the country around the world.

Italy, on its part, has decided to make a step forward with the sole objective of distinguishing Neapolitan pizza from pizzas made everywhere else in the world, and all characterized by specific peculiarities that make them different from the classic Pizza Napoli. One example is New York-style pizza.

According to the Italian association of agricultural entrepreneurs, Coldiretti, the pizza industry is still very important in the country, is worth 10 billions of euros and employs up to 100,000 people. Now, Italy’s task is to submit a dossier about Neapolitan pizza to Unesco which will decide its fate after a year-long process that will involve 200 countries.

A curiosity: Real Neapolitan pizza is limited to two types: marinara (tomato, oil, oregano and garlic) and margherita (tomato, oil, mozzarella and basil).

Good luck, Italia!

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