The Differences Between A Stromboli vs Calzone

Pepperoni Stromboli

Written by Tuscan Pizza Team

We're an awesome group of pizza loving fanatics. When it comes to making and eating pizza, there is none greater than the Tuscan Pizza team. Come say hi the next time you're in the area. Live, love, pizza!

January 5, 2018

Today we’re talking stromboli vs calzone. A battle between two great Italian foods. They’re food cousins, but there are a few differences. Let’s start by examining each one.


Often called a pizza turnover, not to be confused with the always delectable panzerotti, a calzone is very similar to pizza. Calzones first made an appearance in Naples, Italy during the 18th century.

Interesting fact:ย calzones grew in popularity because they could be eaten while on the go (hence why the name calzone translates to pants legs). You may be thinking to yourself, you can also eat pizza on the go. But that wasn’t always the case. In Naples, it was tradition to eat a slice of pizza with a knife and fork.

While many pizzerias sell calzones the size of a medium pie, they were originally sandwich-sized. It’s why so many Italian street vendors specialize in the calzone.

Most calzones contain the same ingredients as pizza – tomato sauce, mozzarella, and ricotta. You can even order yours with the same type of toppings you would usually find on pizza – pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc. The calzone got its start as a baked good, but many American pizzerias offer a fried version.

Pizza Turnover


While they may not look it, a Stromboli is a lot closer to a sandwich than a pizza.

Think about any Italian-based hoagie (sub, hero) and what it consists of. Usually, it’s filled with a variety of cheeses and Italian meats like salami or capicola (maybe pepperoni). For the more health-conscious out there, your Italian hoagie might also contain a lot of veggies. The same applies to the Stromboli. Your ingredients are laid out on dough and then rolled into a loaf and baked.

One of the major differences between a calzone and a Stromboli is the sauce. In a Stromboli, the sauce is baked in, and with a calzone, it’s served on the side as a dipping sauce.

Another key difference is where the Stromboli originated. Unlike the calzone, which we said go its start in Naples, the Stromboli was conceived in Philadelphia, PA. That’s right, it started right across the river from Tuscan Pizza! Maybe that’s why so many people near us love Stromboli’s a bit more than calzones?

Interesting fact: The story goes that strombolis are named after a 1940s black and white movie called Stromboli. The movie itself isn’t well known, mostly because it wasn’t very good, but it gained notoriety for the affair between its lead actors – Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini.

Meanwhile, normal people tend to think that the Stromboli originated in Essington – a small town right outside of Philly. At the time, it was a predominantly Italian neighborhood – hence the reason why so many people think of the Stromboli as being Italian. The owner of a small restaurant and pizzeria stuffed cold cuts and cheese into pizza dough and rolled it up. He baked the food and started selling them in masses.

Stromboli vs Calzone Face-off

Calzone Stromboli
Origin: Naples, Italy Philadelphia, PA
Tomato Sauce: On the side Baked in
How it’s made: Baked or fried Baked
Shape: Crescent moon Log


Now that you know the differences between a Stromboli vs a calzone be sure to go out and try one. Or both. We’re not judging. – The Tuscan Pizza Teamย 

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