Last updated on November 6th, 2023
Planning a big night out in Italy at one of the best pizzerias and want to learn the basics for ordering pizza in Italy? No problem, it’s easy! With a bit of vocabulary and some helpful tips, your pizza experience in Italy will be a breeze.
My Italian family has pizza at least once a week and I have been ordering it for over 20 years in Tuscany, giving me expert know-how experience in ordering pizza in Italy.
In this guide, I will take you through the exact steps to ordering pizza in Italy, no matter where you are. Whether you are looking to order pizza to-go, order pizza by the slice or sit down in a restaurant, I have a formula for you.
And if you have dietary restrictions, don’t worry. I will walk you through how to ask the right questions, ensuring you order the right pizza every time!
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How To Order Pizza In Italy Step-By-Step
How to order pizza in Italy will vary depending on what type of pizza you are getting and from where you are ordering.
Ordering Pizza A Taglio Or From A Bakery
If you are ordering any type of pizza by the slice or a taglio:
- Point to the type of pizza you want and the server will indicate where he or she intends to cut. If it’s too much, bring your hands together with palms open to indicate less saying meno or, bring your apart, saying di più.
- They may ask if you would like your pizza riscaldata or lightly heated. You can answer either si or no.
- The server will weigh your pizza and either hand you a receipt to bring to the cash register or check you out themselves. If you are at a deli in an Italian grocery store, they will wrap up your pizza and label it with a barcode that can then be scanned at check-out.
Good To Know: It’s not uncommon for Italians to order several different kinds of pizza a taglio at one time. Don’t feel like you are acting like a glutinous tourist ordering several small squares of each because Italians do the same.
This method can be used even when you are ordering pizza pinsa and pizza alla pala as well, including at forni or bakeries.
Ordering Pizza At A Restaurant
Ordering pizza at a restaurant is easy with a bit of Italian vocabulary under your belt.
- Pizzas are usually at the back of the menu if you are at a place that serves pizza and other dishes such as primi or antipasti.
- Choose your own pizza. Unlike in America, Italians each order their own pizza and don’t share! Identify which pizza you would like (read all about authentic Italian pizza toppings) and order it by saying:
Vorrei una pizza margherita da portare via, per favore.
“I would like a pizza margherita to-go, please.”
Io prendo una pizza con prosciutto crudo, per piacere.
“I will have a pizza with prosciutto crudo, please.”
- The pizzas in Italy should come out relatively all at the same time, unless you are a very large party.
- If you don’t finish your pizza, you can ask for a box to bring it home, although most Italians don’t because they always finish their pizza! This hasn’t always been something Italians do but I see it happening more and more, especially as Italy becomes more aware of food waste.
Good To Know: When ordering pizza in Italy, don’t try to order half your pizza with one topping and half with another. We don’t do that in Italy!
And don’t expect your pizza to come pre-sliced. It won’t. Italians believe that pizza needs to cool down a bit before cutting into it. And they are right! If you cut into a pizza right after it has come out of the oven, the cheese will ooze all over the place and your Italian pizza will just fall apart, and I can assure you, you don’t want that!
For tips on eating pizza in Italy, read A Visitor’s Guide To Eating In Italy – Italian Food Etiquette 101 (How To Order + My Tips) and Do Italians Eat Pizza With a Fork? and How Do Italians Eat Pizza?
Florence Travelers: Looking for the best pizza in the city? Read my first hand guide to Best Pizza in Florence, Italy – From a Local.
Ordering Pizza To Go
If you would like to order pizza to go, you can either call it in and it will usually be ready in 15-20 minutes for pickup. You can also go directly to the pizzeria, order it there and wait.
Either way, you will order pizza as you would above but indicating da portare via, meaning “to-go”. Don’t forget these words! Alternatively, you can say da asporto, which means the same thing.
Ordering Pizza At A Grocery Store
Ordering pizza at a grocery store is much like ordering pizza a taglio. At the bakery section, there will be a large selection of pizzas, often rectangle shaped or in large squares. The variety and choices increase around lunch hour.
To order pizza at a deli in an Italian grocery store:
- Take a number and wait for it to be called.
- Indicate which pizza you would like and use your hands to indicate more or less when the baker indicates where they intend to cut.
You: Pizza rossa, per favore (Red pizza, please)
Baker: Cosi? (like this?)
You: Di più (more) OR Meno (less)
Baker: Basta cosi? (Is that all?)
You: Si, grazie (Yes, thanks)
- Take your pizza to the check-out and pay.
Time Saving Tip: If you are in a rush, look for pre-weighed and packaged pizza a taglio from the grocery store bakery stocked on one of the nearby shelves. It won’t be warm but it will be frsh and let’s not forget, Italian pizza is delicious cold as well!
Ordering Pizza At A Bar
Many bars will sell pre-cut slices of pizza a taglio. In this case, the pizza will be already cut into squares and sold by the piece or al trancio, not by weight.
To order pizza at a bar:
- Tell the cashier what you would like by saying:
Un tracio di pizza, per favore.
“One slice of pizza, please”
- Pay and bring your receipt to the counter and indicate which one you would like, handing your receipt to the barista.
Vorrei un trancio di margherita, per favore.
“I would like one piece of margherita pizza, please.”
- They will ask you if you would like it warmed. Tell them if you would like it to-go (da portare via) and they will put it in a bag for you.
Ordering Pizza In Italy With Dietary Restrictions
If you are hoping to eat pizza in Italy and have a dietary restriction, fret not! Nowadays, many Italians are health conscious or suffer from allergies which has sparked several changes in the types of pizza you can buy.
Ordering Vegan Pizza In Italy
If you are vegan, you can absolutely go to any pizzeria and find a pizza for you. The pizza marinara (also called pizza rossa) is a naturally vegan pizza made with tomato sauce and oregano or you can order a pizza marina with grilled vegetables or other vegan toppings that you see on the menu such as mushrooms, eggplant or capers.
Ordering Gluten-Free Pizza In Italy
Gluten free pizza is harder to come by but if you are in one of Italy’s most popular and famous cities, you should have no problem finding an establishment that makes gluten-free pizza.
For example, Mister Pizza in Florence has the absolute best gluten-free pizza in town.
Tips For Ordering Pizza In Italy
- It’s tradition to order a fried appetizer while you wait for your pizza, especially in Southern Italy
- It’s most common to drink water, beer or Coka Cola with your pizza in Italy. You can order red wine or other non alcoholic beverages but it’s not as common.
- If you want pepperoni pizza, be sure to ask for salame, not pepperoni, which are bell peppers in Italian!
- If you want coffee after your pizza, order an espresso, not a cappuccino.
- Pizza in a restaurant is generally an evening affair, not for lunch. If you want pizza for lunch, order pizza a taglio or one of the many equivalents.
- Italians don’t eat condiments and other sauces with their pizza, including olive oil.
- Italians are traditionalists when it comes to their pizza. I have never seen pizza with pineapple, buffalo chicken fingers or other American twists. The most far out thing I have witnessed is french fries on a pizza.
Helpful Vocabulary For Ordering Pizza
|Italian Phrase||Pronunciation||English Translation|
|Vorrei…||vohr-reh…||I would like…|
|Una pizza||oo-nah peetz-ah||one pizza|
|Due pizze||doo-eh peetz-eh||two pizzas|
|Da portare via||dah pohr-tahr-eh veeah||take-away|
|un trancio||oon trahn-choh||one slice|
|Senza glutine||sehn-zah gloo-tee-neh||gluten-free|
|Senza formaggio||sehn-zah fohr-mahj-joh||without cheese|
|Senza pomodoro||sehn-zah poh-moh-doh-roh||without tomato|
|Pizza bianca||peet-zah bee-ahn-kah||white pizza (no tomato or tomato sauce)|
|Sono vegano/a||soh-noh veh-gah-noh/nah||I am vegan|
Ordering Pizza In Italy FAQ
If you don’t sit down at a pizzeria or restaurant in Italy, you can order your pizza to-go (da portare via) or you can order pizza a taglio, squares of pizza, which are usually eaten on-the-go.
To order any pizza in Italy you can say, Vorrei una pizza margherita, per favore (I would like…) or Prendo una pizza margherita, per favore (I’ll have…)
Pizza is sold by the whole pizza in a restaurant or pizzeria but at small to-go pizza windows, shops, bakeries, bars and Italian grocery stores, pizza is sold generally by the weight, known as pizza a taglio.
If you find pizza already pre-sliced into squares and priced by the square, it’s called pizza al trancio. If, however, the pizza is cut to your desired amount and sold by weight, it’s referred to as pizza a taglio, meaning cut pizza.
The main beverages to drink with pizza are beer, Coca Cola and water in Italy. Italians may order wine or other non alcoholic beverages such as sodas as well.
Italians do not put cheese on their pizza such as a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Please don’t do this because you will be given a strange look!