Last night I decided to go check out a pizzeria that had been recommended to me by several people. I had put it off for a long time because 1) it’s not close to the center, and 2) the name of the place is Pizza Man. Pizza Man, he delivers? I decided to overlook the unpromising name and venture out to this place – or as it turned out, places.
Pizza Man has three sit-down locations, as well as a take-out only place on Viale dei Amicis. I checked their fancy web site, which comes with music and user-unfriendly flash, and even called ahead, but somehow was confused enough to first go to the (popular!) take-out place by mistake. One taxi ride later and we were at the restaurant on Via Tedalda, way out in Rovezzano, where we waited, on our feet, in the cold, for about an hour. (Granted, this was mostly my fault because of the confusion, but I’ll complain anyway.) The place was packed – packed! It seemed like the entire neighborhood of Rovezzano was there waiting for a pizza, or at least those between the ages of 25 and 40. We were by any measure the only foreigners there, and in fact our English conversation kept drawing stares – a rarity in Florence. The building itself is all windows, and feels a little like a modern temporary structures; it looks like the windows open in the summer, which would make for a fun and lively atmosphere.
The staff is very professional, and evidently used to being mobbed by hungry Florentines every night, because they kept offering hot fried dough balls and little glasses of wine to keep the crowd subdued; it worked. And after all of this, how was the pizza? Quite delicious, I am happy to report. The pizzas are 100% Naples style, with a thick, high ring of crust surrounding a circle of delicious sauce and little puddles of mozzarella di bufala (or fior di latte). They only offer about five kinds of pizza, all without meat, all variations on the Marinara, Margherita, or Napolitano (with anchovies and capers). To drink, there are big glasses of Moretti beer. The rest of the menu includes a few nondescript antipasti and primi, but literally everyone in the place was there for the pizza. They do have nice desserts: a nonna, a cioccolate cake, a lemon sorbet, and a refreshing ananas.
The final verdict: I would say this is one of the best pizzas to be had in the Florence area, especially if you like Naples-style. If you have a car and like exploring the further reaches of Florence’s residential suburbs in search of the perfect pie, this place (and its sister restaurants) is for you. Otherwise, it’s probably easier to get take-out from the Viale Amicis, or else go to one of the better places in the center (like Vico del Carmine).
Viale de Amicis 47 r , 055-666-681 (take-out)
Via Tedalda 411, 055-691-756
Via del Prete 10r, 055-433-849
Via Baracca 148 A/B, 055-437-9931