For centuries, pizza has held an esteemed place in cuisine all around the world. Appearing as a simple layered bread, tomato, and cheese dish, pizza is so much more than that. It’s a way to bring the world together. Rising to fame in Italy in the sixteenth century, the first “pizzas” were more similar to modern flatbread. As these “pizzas” spread to other places, however, they came into contact with many different groups of people, who proceeded to add their own cultural touches (red sauce, oil, cheese, various toppings) to what would eventually become the classic dish we know it as today. So although pizza did not originate in the USA, there are many homages to the dish scattered throughout the country. If you’re planning a road trip, here’s some guidance to visiting the three top pizza tourist locations in the USA.
World’s Largest Pizza
First off, we have the home of one of the largest pizzas in the world and the reigning size champion of pizzas in the USA. Located in Iowa Falls, Iowa, this gargantuan fifty thousand slice pie measures a whopping one hundred twenty-nine by ninety-two feet. The assembly of Iowa Falls’ biggest claim to fame took two hours and the hard efforts of over two hundred volunteers. The delicious dish, consisting of over four thousand pounds of cheese and seven hundred pounds of pizza sauce, is definitely a sight to see.
America’s First Pizzeria
Next, stop in and pay a visit to the first United States pizzeria: Lombardi’s Pizza, located in New York City. Although pizza was already a popular dish in America during the late 1800s, the only way to taste one was to bake it yourself from scratch at home. But in 1905, Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi changed all that by converting his little New York grocery store into the first commercial pizzeria in America. Gennaro’s starting price for his first pizzas was only a nickel per pie. Over one hundred years later, Lombardi’s Pizza, which bakes all their pizzas the old-fashioned way in giant coal-fired ovens, is still one of the ultimate American pizzerias, and a place you don’t want to miss out on visiting.
World’s First Official Pizza Museum
To round off your pizza adventure, visit the world’s first official pizza museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Called Pizza Brain and set to open sometime this summer, the museum already holds the record for the largest collection of pizza memorabilia in the world. A community-driven business, Pizza Brain is environmentally responsible and perhaps the only museum at which the kids are guaranteed not to be bored.
As you can see, there are a number of tourist locations in the United States of America dedicated solely to pizza. And the places described above aren’t all; They’re just the best of the best. Countless pizza tourist locations not mentioned in this article have their foundation set deep in American soil. There are so many, you could plan a month-long vacation and venture to a different pizza-related place every day! (Just don’t forget who has the best pizza in Virginia!)
For a unique summer vacation filled to the brim with adventure, fun for the family, and plenty of delicious pizza, consider incorporating a few of the places above into plans for your next family road trip.