VideoNote: The Soul of the Pizza

April 10, 2014 / Food & Wine


Dear friends, as you are probably aware, ItalianNotebook has been experimenting with adding video content to our Notes. In offering this service to subscribers we hope to draw in a little bit of capital that will help us promote and improve the website. Barbara Goldfield and I have made five VideoNotes and the response has been excellent. For this we thank all those who have donated so far.

Although we are having a lot of fun producing these videos, they also take a a lot of time and effort. The people we have interviewed so far have been happy to simply share their knowledge, with infinite passion and patience. However, we need lots of feedback from you our readers to see if this is something you really want to see more of so that we can evaluate whether it is a viable addition to the daily Notes. Therefore, we are sharing today’s VideoNote with the entire readership.

Please send us lots of comments and suggestions: whether you enjoyed it or not and possibly what you’d like to see more of. Thanks so much!

Pizza. Envision it and your mouth begins to water. Piping hot, it’s the epitome of fast, fabulous finger-licking food, right?


Wellll… for some it comes in big square pans with different toppings (pizza al taglio). For others it’s meters long and sold by weight (pizza alla pala). For others it’s big and circular and cut into triangular slices (pizza americana). For others still it’s round and fits on to a plate (pizza tonda) and cooked religiously in a wood-burning oven (see today’s VideoNote below).

But look up the word “pizza” and you’ll also find calzone, pizza genovese, pizza foggiana, pizza siciliana, pizza marchigiana and panzerotto. And what about pizzette and pizzelle?

And if you’re still not confused there’s more. In Rome, a pizza Napoletana is topped with tomato, mozzarella and anchovies. Order it in Naples and it comes without mozzarella but is seasoned with oregano and garlic. And it’s called pizza marinara, even though has nothing to do with the mare (sea).

Still confused? No worries, don’t sweat the details. In the VideoNote below, our friend Michele Novizio, owner of the Pizzeria La Lampara, talks about the only thing that really matters… the soul of the pizza!

(The VideoNote is below the following two images…)


The end result of Michele’s work…


VideoNote: Watch Michele work his magic!

Fifth in our new series of original VideoNotes, this one for everyone to enjoy:

The Soul of the Pizza

Barbara Goldfield

by Barbara Goldfield

Owner of “Savour The Sannio”,, a travel consultancy for central and southern Italy.

54 Responses to “VideoNote: The Soul of the Pizza”

  1. This made the whole “wood-fired” oven thing make sense. Looks mouth-watering.

  2. Bob Blesse

    Wow, that’s fantastic! My stomach is growling. Thanks so much for this wonderful video.

  3. Margie Luckhardt

    I really enjoyed it as I speak Italian and was able to understand everything. Also learned something new. Why a pizza baked in a wood fired oven tastes better. More videos please!!!

  4. Jim and Alice

    Guess we’re making pizza tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wonderful video note; as all so far have been, too. Grazie mille!

  5. This time of year there’s also pizza di Pasqua, which is nothing like traditional pizza. It’s a cylindrical bread shaped like a small panettone and it comes in a slightly sweet version and a version with cheese. We discovered it a few years ago in the markets in Rome, but I think it’s originally from Umbria. Now that we’re back in California, I make both kinds at home.

  6. Ronnie Sherman

    I love these videos…… the music, the language, the subject matter. Each video draws you in ……. and I share a few moments with Italians in Italy!

  7. Phyllis Iervello

    I love this. It’s the first one I’ve seen. I love Italian Notebook in any form…text or videos. Thank you for letting me spend a few virtual moments in Italy!

  8. Harvey-Jane

    Delightful! Loved the combination of the chef working the pizza to the sound of Vivaldi. Molto bene.

  9. Joan Congello

    That’s it tonight we have home made pizza…..Loved the video

  10. Allan Mahnke

    These videos are great. Many thanks! The subtitles are fine, but special thanks also for including the spoken Italian.

  11. Very nice. Enhanced by the fact that the dialogue was in Italian (duh). Made what could have been a rather predictable dialogue seem more charming, etc.

  12. My first VideoNote – fantastico! Really like the format and would love to see more. Brings your wonderful snippets to life.

  13. Great video and pizza lesson! Loved hearing the language and listening to the music — I would love to be there to enjoy la pizza, mangiare!

  14. Sylvia Campagna Harris

    New member to Italian Notebook, love it, and now will love the videos!

  15. Sylvia Campagna Harris

    I am a new member to Italiannotebook and love it, and now will love the videos.

  16. Mmmm-mm! I’ve reached the point where I don’t want pizza unless it’s from a wood-fired oven and amazingly enough, we’re very fortunate to have two places right here in Huntington, WV that use wood-fired ovens for their pizzas. Mama-mia but they’re good! And this one looks wonderful!

  17. To all the enthusiastic comments above, yes, indeed. One quibble: The time-line for the video obscured some of the subtitles. Maybe I just don’t know how to make it vanish…but many thanks!

    • Barbara Goldfield

      I’m not sure if this is your case, but it happens to me when I leave the little white arrow on the timeline itself. WHen I move it off the timeline disappears.

  18. Bonnie Melielo

    Very nice. We have eaten wood fired pizza in Napoli, but now I understand the process a little better. Also gave me another opportunity to practice listening to Italian.

  19. Mark Zimmerman

    It’s 5:00pm here and I just made the mistake of watching the video. How can I have been so foolish. Meatloaf is not going to cut it, I’m going out for a pizza. It won’t be as good but I can dream. Terrific addition to the notebook, keep them coming.

  20. Stefano

    To quote Bill Murray; ” Unless you are a pizza, the answer is yes, I can live without you.

  21. Joan Schmelzle

    The videos are nice, but it is a pain to have to go to Internet Explorer to watch them–thanks to AOL I’m sure.

  22. Mindy Smith

    Meravigliosa! I loved the video and thank you so much for getting near the hot flames to film it! I love what Michele says in regards to the wood her uses…NO CHEMICALS , only the best wood for his oven. Bravo! I would love a pizza of his right now.

  23. don ellis

    Thanks for this informative and entertaining video. Regretfully I haven’t been to this location – but may I mention that in Sep 2013 we were on a tour in Bellagio and we happened on the Villa Serbelloni for lunch. The most squisito pizza margherita I’ve ever had!! (I’m 76) So simple, but all the parts, from the bread to the tomato sauce to the cheese and spices were magnifico! And the local white wine – I couldn’t believe it. Unfortunately, we had to return to the tour, so I couldn’t take the time to speak to the chef and discover how it was made. Indelible, exquisite memory for a simple pizza and local wine!!??

  24. John M. Sabatino

    I think the videos are a good and bad idea. It really depends on how it is implemented.
    I use the Italian Notebook as my personal travel agent. I plan my yearly trip to a specific region of Italy and include what I have seen in the Italian Notebook as a must see items. So, from this stand point possibly loosing the stories and still photo I see the video concept as something other than good.
    From the stand point of seeing more on a video than a still photograph can provide, the video concept is a good thing. Certainly, the example off the pizza requires the video rather than just a story and still photographs.
    I guess what I’m saying is the video concept if used to add more information, thus, enhancing the Italian Notebook while retaining the still photography would clearly be a step in the right direction. However, I would be troubled if the story and the still photographs were limited when the videos were included.
    Thanks for the opportunity to give you my opinion.

  25. Roberta

    Grazie! I had fabulous pizza in Carovilli (Molise). This video brings back the memory.
    By the way, I appreciate learning any new Italian words.

  26. Christina Pedota Polidore

    I enjoyed the video note, The Soul of Pizza. I always read every contribution to ItalianNotebook. I would like to say I would be able to enjoy every video but viewing a video requires a bit more time plus my internet connection may be slow. You asked for feedback so I wanted to be honest. Everyone does a terrific job. I do completely appreciate every contribution to the ItalianNotebook. Grazie.

  27. Loved it. If I could suggest one improvement…I found the text that the beginning to move too quickly. I had difficulty reading it.

    • Barbara Goldfield

      Hi MC, Yes, I realize that now. I guess I was so concerned that the videos not be too long that I cut back too much. What do you think about the length of the video: too long? too short? Thanks for the feedback.

        • Sonia Machabee

          Loved the video – no problem at all viewing it on my Iphone or Ipad. The video is an option those that cannot access don’t have to click on it but for some of us – well today you made my day! Loved the video loved listening to the Italian language. I was able to dream I was in Italy if not for a little while – THANK YOU – Appreciate all your notes and improvements.

  28. Louis Sirianni

    Videos although very nice are not necessary………..
    Happy with just text.

  29. Re: Pizza alla marinara, I had learned years ago that it was called such because the marinai (sailors) on the mare (sea) long ago couldn’t refrigerate enough cheese on their long trips, hence food senza (without) mozzarella.

  30. Patricia Hogan

    I thoroughly enjoyed today’s Video note: Soul of the Pizza. Many thanks to those who so willingly share their knowledge, expertise and passion.

  31. Carmella

    LOVED this video. Also, I like the fact that Italian was spoken (and translated!!!)
    Great job!!

  32. Vera Garcia

    I loved this video and think they would be a great occasional supplement to the normal text/photograph pages since they are more difficult to produce. But I so appreciate hearing Italian, learning about something uniquely Italian, and seeing scenes from Italy. Thought it was great how you started out showing the panorama of San Agata and then the street and store front, how there were folks just hanging in the tiny shop, then of course the pizza making. But the whole sequence added a great deal to the experience of the short video. I think you’ve found a new talent, Barbara! Film director/producer!

  33. Jan Johnson

    Brilliant! The only thing missing was the smell and the taste!! I will have to find Michele and try the marinara for myself when I visit Italy later this year.
    Congratulations to everyone involved in the filming.
    Best wishes

  34. Ray LaVerghetta

    This is a great video. I’m guessing many of us would like to see the occasional video in Italian Notes. Moreover, I think at least some us would also chip in to make it happen.

  35. Hank Vinci

    One of very favorite sites,your selections are wonderful and always bring a smile to my face and a nice warm feeling.Thank You Keep up the outstanding work.Ciao

  36. Hank Vinci

    Absolutely outstanding,please do continue,I am planning a trip to Italy and your videos has given a lot of valuable info.Thank You ,very very much.


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