What better place to have pizzas than the country where it came into being, Italy! I had some of the most delicious pizzas at Italy. Being a vegetarian, there were limited options for me. One of them being the margarita and other was a similar one with onions as an extra topping. There would have been more but the restaurants I had been to had just these 2.
The whole atmosphere in these European countries is what makes all the difference. All the pizza places that I had been to were in small by lanes with tables set outside on the pavements. People sitting for hours together in the dim lighted wooden table set with and umbrella covering them. Acoustic guitarist playing soft romantic Italiano music, one large standard sized pizza and a glass of wine. Pizzas were served from traditional clay ovens, that’s what brought that authentic taste and the mouth watering aroma. Life couldn’t get better than this.
So what are these 1 Euro(Currency used across majority of European countries) Pizzas you may ask. Well just like in Mumbai where we have vada-pav stalls at every nook and corner, in Italian cities you could find small pizza joints. These joints served what I call 1 Euro pizzas. A huge square shaped pizza ( 3×3 feet ) was cut into smaller equal sized squares. These squares were wrapped in a tissue paper just like frankies are wrapped here. Delicious square mini pizzas for just 1 Euro. They were soft with a big fat layer of cheese on the crust that would just melt in your mouth.
The pizza place where I had one such pizza was diagonally opposite the FONTANA DI TREVI(The Trevi Fountain), in Rome. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the historic city of Rome. Tradition has it a coin thrown into the water guarantees a visitor’s return to Rome. Now here’s the catch; you have to face your back to the fountain and then toss the coin in it. I did it & I am still waiting for my next trip to Italy. Coming back to my delicious square shaped 1 Euro pizza. I remember it being the Margarita as that was the only vegetarian option available. It was a delicious yummilious experience; so much so that I can still feel the taste of it. Like it’s rightly said in Gujrati – “Modha ma swaad besi gayo che“.
I and my family enjoyed the 1 Euro Pizza alot. We picked it up every time we spotted it. There were lot of walking tours in the city and naturally that made us hungry too. So we used to haalta chaalta pick it up and finish it in like no time. In Gujju bhai’s language, Italy ma pijjo khaine ekdum jalso padi gayo hato.