The origin of first pizzas comes from distant European past, but in the modern sense pizzas and pizzerias are closely connected to the 19th century Italy which was the home of all the biggest pizza innovations. During the height of "pizza revolution" in 19th century, pizza that we know today was evolved from its previous versions, and pizzerias started being formed all across the Italy. The important work that was implemented by the visionary cooks of Italian city Naples was slowly carried to the United States via the Italian settlers, and during the middle of 20th century pizza finally started entering the lives of every American. Not long after that many influential pizza franchises were created, which all enabled pizza to spread across entire world.
The term "fist pizza" can be found to three distinct areas of our history and geography. The absolute oldest reference to the dish that resembles today's pizza comes from the ancient Greece and Persia. They first came to idea of baking bread in round and flat shapes, with various toppings on top. The most popular toppings of that period were olive oil, spices, scented leaves, meat and even fruit. The most notable historical record of pizza shaped dish comes from the soldiers that served under Darius the Great(521-486 B.C.), who often covered pizzas that were baked on their shields with cheese and dates.
Although the art of making "flat shaped" bread was preserved in many European countries, the home of pizza always remained in Italy. After the arrival of tomatoes from the New World, Italian cooks finally received the final ingredient that would make pizza so popular - famous tomato sauce. This important moment marked the beginning of the age of "pizza revolution" in the area of Italian city Naples. Cooks from that city managed to constantly innovate and promote this new and interesting dish to the population that greatly enjoyed their efforts. Slowly pizza gained such popularity that its sale was transferred from the street stands to the dedicated pizza restaurants. The first pizzeria ever to be formed was " Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba" in 1830. This historic establishment continues with its work even to today, offering wide variety of traditional Italian pizzas.
The first pizza in in modern shape and form was created in 1889, by the hands of the famous Naples baked Raffaele Esposito. His design Margherita (named by the Queen of Italy for which Esposito made three showcase pizzas) shaped to have topping colors of Italian flag (green basil leaves, white mozzarella, and red tomato sauce) became instant success around Italy and the world. To this day this pizza represents the gold standard of all pizzas.The first pizzeria in the United States was created in early 1900s, and was formed in New York City by Gennaro Lombardi. His restaurant located in Little Italy was reconfigured into pizzeria in 1904, which continued to work all until 1984 when it was closed.
The significance of these first pizzas and first pizzerias cannot be overstated. They provided the base for the future expansion of this great dish. After the 1950s pizza finally started entering the home of every American, and soon several great pizza restaurant franchises spread across the world and made the pizza one of the most popular dishes today.