Who Invented Pizza? Origins, History, and Facts

Pizza with fresh basil

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!

July 9, 2023

From bustling city streets to quiet suburban neighborhoods, the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked pizza is universally recognized and adored. This simple yet delightful dish, often adorned with a medley of toppings, has captured the hearts and taste buds of people from every corner of the globe. Whether it’s a cheesy Margherita in Naples or a deep-dish delight in Chicago, pizza has become more than just a meal—it’s a cultural phenomenon that bridges continents and generations.

But how did this global love affair with pizza begin? While today we might associate it with quick deliveries, movie nights, and gatherings with friends, pizza’s story starts long before the modern conveniences we’re accustomed to. It’s a tale that spans centuries, taking us on a journey from ancient civilizations to the bustling piazzas of Italy.

As we dive into the rich history of pizza, we’ll uncover the mysteries of its origins, the innovators behind its evolution, and the moments that transformed it from a local Italian delicacy to a worldwide sensation. So, whether you’re a curious foodie or a dedicated pizza enthusiast, join us on this quest to discover the roots of a dish that has become synonymous with comfort, celebration, and community.

At Tuscan Pizza, we’re not just passionate about serving up delicious slices; we’re also keen on sharing the stories behind them. And what better story to start with than the fascinating journey of who invented pizza?


Section Key Points
Introduction – Global love for pizza
– Quest to discover pizza’s origins
The Ancient Beginnings of Pizza – Flatbreads in ancient Egypt and Greece
– Differences from modern pizza
The Birthplace of Modern Pizza: Italy – Naples as the home of Margherita
– Pizza’s transition to a global sensation
The Evolution of Pizza Across Continents – Influence of Italian immigrants in America
– Pizza styles like NY and Chicago deep-dish
Tuscan Pizza – Diverse menu offerings
– Catering to all tastes
– Nutritional benefits
Conclusion – Timeless appeal of pizza
– Invitation to explore Tuscan Pizza’s offerings
Fun Facts and Trivia – World records related to pizza
– Unusual toppings
– Pizza in space


The Ancient Beginnings of Pizza

Long before the term “pizza” entered our lexicon, ancient civilizations were already experimenting with the concept of flatbreads topped with various ingredients. The allure of a simple bread base combined with flavorful additions was something that resonated across different cultures and epochs.

Pizza in Ancient Egypt & Greece

In the sun-drenched lands of ancient Egypt, flatbreads were a staple. Archaeological evidence suggests that Egyptians consumed breads that were somewhat similar to our modern-day pizza base. These breads, often seasoned with herbs and spices, provided a versatile and filling meal for both the rich and the poor. Similarly, in ancient Greece, a dish called “plakous” was popular among the locals. This was a flatbread adorned with toppings like herbs, onion, and garlic. It was a far cry from the tomato and cheese-laden pizzas we know today, but the foundational idea was there.

 How These Early Versions Differ from Modern Pizza

These early versions of pizza, however, lacked many of the ingredients that we associate with the dish today. Tomatoes, for instance, were not introduced to the Old World until the discovery of the Americas. Cheese, while present in some ancient cultures, was not a universal topping. The concept of layering bread with various ingredients was prevalent, but the combinations and methods varied widely.

It’s fascinating to think that while the bustling cities of ancient Egypt and Greece might have been worlds apart in many ways, they shared a culinary practice that would, millennia later, evolve into one of the world’s most beloved dishes. These ancient flatbreads, though different from the pizza slices we enjoy at Tuscan Pizza, set the stage for the dish’s evolution, laying the groundwork for the rich tapestry of pizza history that was yet to unfold.

The Birthplace of Modern Pizza: Italy

Italy, with its rich culinary traditions and penchant for delectable flavors, is often hailed as the birthplace of many iconic dishes. However, when it comes to pizza, the spotlight shines brightest on the vibrant city of Naples. Nestled by the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Naples is not just a city of breathtaking views and Baroque architecture; it’s the very heart of pizza’s modern history.

Naples: The Home of the Margherita

In the narrow, bustling streets of Naples, the tale of the Margherita pizza unfolds. Legend has it that in 1889, to honor the visit of Queen Margherita of Savoy, local pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito crafted a special pizza. He adorned it with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, representing the colors of the Italian flag. The Queen was so enamored with this culinary creation that it soon took on her name, becoming the iconic “Pizza Margherita” we know and love today.

But the journey of pizza didn’t stop at the royal courts of Italy. From its humble Neapolitan origins, pizza began its global conquest. As Italian immigrants ventured to new shores, they carried with them the art of pizza-making. Pizzerias sprouted in bustling cities across the United States, South America, and beyond. Each region added its unique twist, leading to a myriad of styles and flavors. From the thin crusts of New York to the cheesy depths of Chicago’s deep-dish, pizza’s versatility was its strength, allowing it to resonate with diverse palates and cultures.

For a deeper dive into this captivating journey, explore our History of Pizza article. And if you’re curious about the evolution of the places that serve this global favorite, don’t miss our piece on the History of the Pizzeria. Both articles offer a comprehensive look at how a simple Neapolitan dish transformed into a worldwide culinary sensation, celebrated and cherished by many.

The Evolution of Pizza Across Continents

As with many culinary delights, the journey of pizza is one of evolution, adaptation, and innovation. While its roots may be firmly planted in the soils of Italy, pizza’s branches have spread far and wide, touching every continent and leaving a unique imprint on each.

Pizza in America: The Rise of a New Pizza Culture

The shores of America, a land of immigrants and a melting pot of cultures, welcomed pizza with open arms. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a significant influx of Italian immigrants to the United States. With them, they brought the flavors, traditions, and culinary expertise of their homeland. Pizzerias began to dot the streets of cities like New York and Chicago, becoming community hubs where families and friends gathered.

But America, with its spirit of innovation, didn’t just adopt pizza; it reinvented it. In New York, the thin, crispy crust became a signature, often folded and eaten on the go. Meanwhile, Chicago took a deep dive, quite literally, into the world of pizza, giving birth to the deep-dish style. This hearty version, with its thick crust and generous layers of toppings, became a meal in itself, a stark contrast to its Neapolitan predecessor. For a detailed comparison between these two iconic styles, check out our article on The Difference Between Italian Pizza and American Pizza.

Pizza in Other Parts of the World

But the story doesn’t end in America. As pizza continued its global march, it found homes in diverse regions, each adding its unique touch. In Brazil, green peas and quail eggs found their way onto the pizza. Japan introduced the world to eel and squid toppings, while in India, the spicy paneer and tandoori chicken pizzas became favorites.

Australia brought a touch of the exotic with kangaroo and emu pizzas, and in Sweden, the “Pizza Africana” with bananas and curry powder became a unique offering. These local adaptations showcased the versatility of pizza, proving that it was a canvas ready to be painted with the flavors of the world. Curious about the vast array of toppings that have adorned pizzas worldwide? Dive into our comprehensive guide on How Many Pizza Toppings Are There.

From its humble beginnings in Naples to its global dominance, pizza’s journey is a testament to its universal appeal. Whether it’s the familiar Margherita or a local adaptation with unique toppings, pizza continues to be a dish that brings people together, transcending borders and cultures.

Tuscan Pizza: A Modern Take on a Timeless Classic

In the vast world of pizza, where traditions meet innovations, Tuscan Pizza stands out as a beacon of culinary excellence. Rooted in the age-old practices of pizza-making, yet always eager to embrace the new, Tuscan Pizza offers a delightful fusion of the classic and the contemporary.

At the heart of Tuscan Pizza’s success is its diverse menu. From the classic Margherita to innovative toppings that cater to the adventurous palate, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a purist who loves the simplicity of tomato, mozzarella, and basil, or someone who craves unique flavor combinations, Tuscan Pizza ensures every bite is a journey of taste. But it’s not just about taste; it’s also about well-being. Tuscan Pizza takes pride in highlighting the nutritional benefits of its offerings. By choosing quality ingredients and crafting balanced recipes, they ensure that indulgence can go hand in hand with health.


The story of pizza is as rich and varied as its toppings. From ancient flatbreads to the global phenomenon it is today, pizza has always been more than just food. It’s a symbol of community, a slice of culture, and a testament to the universal love for flavors that bring joy. As we reflect on this journey, it’s hard not to feel a craving for that perfect slice. And where better to satiate that craving than Tuscan Pizza? With its vast offerings and commitment to quality, it’s a reminder that the best stories are often those we can taste. So, why wait? Dive into the world of Tuscan Pizza and discover a slice of history, one bite at a time.

Fun Facts and Trivia

Pizza, with its global appeal, has given rise to some truly amusing and astounding tidbits:

  • World Records: Did you know that the largest pizza ever made covered an area of over 13,580.28 square feet? That’s a lot of cheese!
  • Unusual Toppings: While we’re familiar with pepperoni and mushrooms, how about a reindeer or crocodile pizza? Yes, they exist!
  • Pizza in Space: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station once made a pizza in zero gravity. Talk about out-of-this-world flavors!

These quirky facts remind us that pizza isn’t just a dish; it’s a phenomenon that continues to surprise, delight, and bring smiles to faces worldwide. Whether you’re a pizza historian or just someone who loves a good slice, there’s always something new to learn and savor in the world of pizza.


1. Where did pizza originate?

Pizza originated in Naples, Italy, where the iconic Margherita pizza was first created.

2. How did pizza become popular in America?

Italian immigrants introduced pizza to America, leading to the rise of distinct styles like New York thin crust and Chicago deep-dish.

3. What makes Tuscan Pizza stand out?

Tuscan Pizza offers a diverse menu, catering to all tastes, and emphasizes the nutritional benefits of its products.

4. What were some ancient versions of pizza?

Ancient civilizations like Egypt and Greece had flatbreads with various toppings, which can be considered early versions of pizza.

5. Are there any unusual pizza toppings?

Yes, some unusual toppings include reindeer and crocodile.

6. How big was the largest pizza ever made?

The largest pizza ever made covered an area of over 13,580.28 square feet.

7. Was pizza ever made in space?

Yes, astronauts aboard the International Space Station once made a pizza in zero gravity.

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