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For Your Culinary Bucket List: Pizza a Portafoglio Is the Perfect Italian Street Food

Naples Food + Drink
by Elisabeth Sherman Aug 15, 2022

The modern version of pizza as you know it today – one of the most beloved and iconic dishes in the history of, well, all of humanity – was created in Naples, Italy. Today, in the Campania region, pizza is everywhere: shops lining every street, street vendors, and cafes. And yes, you can even find it on the beach — especially a portable folded version called pizza a portafoglio.

The name translates loosely to pizza wallet because of how it’s folded, and, according to Visit Naples, the first came from a pizzeria that dates back to 1738. It’s not just around Naples. You can find pizza a portafoglio in multiple parts of Italy as a common (and cheap) street food, but if you’re headed to Naples specifically, you must add it to your culinary bucket list. Served hot enough to scorch your tongue, these personal pizza pies are folded up in paper, almost like a big piece of pita, so that you can eat it as you explore.

@foodwtf Beachside #pizza vendor in #Naples #Italy 🎥 IG: @kikka_cry #foodtiktok #pizzatiktok #traveltok ♬ Silenzio Bruno. Chiquitita by ABBA slowed – 💐(taylor’s version)

A TikTok video posted by @@kikka_cry where a beachside pizza vendor in Naples can be seen serving pizza a portafoglio is a perfect example. Beachside pizza vendors in Naples push a small cart with a large metal barrel. Inside, the hot pizzas are stacked and ready to be served to hungry beach goers. The sandy beach is dotted with tables outfitted with umbrellas.

A sizzling hot mini pizza might not be the first thing you think to eat while relaxing in the sand, but this is Italy after all – anytime is a good time for pizza. And undoubtedly, there will be good gelato nearby for when you need to cool down.

Pizza a portafoglio joins other dishes like panzerotti and cuoppo as the most famous street foods in Naples. Everywhere you look, there is another piping hot delicious fried food filled with cheese and tomatoes – the biggest challenge you’ll probably face on your Italian getaway is what to try first.

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