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Naples Journal: Naples Celebrates as Its Pizza Makers ‘Conquer the World’

Until even a few years ago, Sanità, where guys still hunch over bootleg-DVD stands watching the Naples mob show “Gomorrah,” was the sort of place people stayed away from. Now, Mr. Oliva said, people come from all over the city and country, waiting outside for an hour to taste the art of the pizzaiuolo.

“Three hours,” corrected Paolo Fischetti, 40, who sat at a table savoring one of Mr. Oliva’s perfectly charred creations.

Mr. Oliva, gregarious and ebullient, has sought to take pizza to the next level. As adept a marketer as Mr. Sorbillo, he seized on the Unesco publicity to show off a tasting menu of haute-cuisine dishes including pork jowl pizza puffs, artichoke sandwiches, fried amberjack calzones and marinara slices that showcased the purity of his products and the sophistication of his skill.

It is a profession, Mr. Ciro said, that has allowed him to give back to the community, offering free pizzas and paying for English lessons for local children. He has a loyal following of foodies, and across a courtyard strewn with laundry, a high-tech storage room for his adored dough to rest and mature.

But when he started, as a pizza delivery boy for his parents, driving a scooter with one hand and balancing the pizzas on his forearm with the other, he said no one respected the pizzaiuolo’s craft.

“When I was little, they made fun of me,” he said, referring to classmates who greeted him at school with the chorus of a popular Italian song that went, “Go make a pizza.”

He worried that his daughter, despite now being able to attend an exclusive private school with the children of judges and magistrates, had faced similar slights. But with Unesco recognizing her father as a leading purveyor of an intangible heritage of humanity, he hopes they will show her more respect.

“Now,” he said, “we’ll see.”

Source: NYT > World

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