Category Archives: Breads

Italian snack food: Pizza di Pane

Pizza di Pane from Il Fornaio on Via San Lorenzo, in Viterbo

The bakeries in Viterbo bake a variety of breads, from ciabatta to pugliese grano duro, in a variety of sizes and shapes. One of my favorites (though not the healthiest choice) is pizza di pane: thin bread baked with lots of olive oil. It resembles the focaccia found in some parts of northern Italy, but is generally thinner and crisper. Each bakery makes a slightly different version. My current favorite is from Il Fornaio, on Via San Lorenzo, although Artigipan on Via Annio makes a good version too, that is a little thicker and less saltier.

While you rarely see Italians eat anything while walking or standing (except for gelato), the one thing I do occasionally see is someone munching a piece of pizza di pane. It’s a popular breakfast for children on the way to school or for shoppers and workers for a mid-morning snack. Many bakeries are only open in the morning and most have some version of this crispy treat. It’s best eaten right from the bakery although a few minutes in a toaster (or on a griddle pan – toasters are rare in Italy) will refresh a piece perfectly later in the day.