Timeline of Pizza History

  • 1st millennium BC - Archeologist in Sardinia found ancient remains of a flattened bread that was apparently very popular among local population.
  • 6th Century B.C - Writings of the conquests of Darius the Great (521-486 B.C.) mention that his soldiers baked a kind of bread flat upon their shields and then covered it with cheese and dates. This is possibly the earliest mentioning of pizza.
  • 3rd Century B.C. - Famous Roman historian Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 B.C.) mentioned in his memoirs about "flat round of dough dressed with olive oil, herbs, and honey baked on stones."
  • 1st Century B.C. - Roman poet Virgil described in one of his famous poems "The Aeneid" a cakes or circles of bread that resemble pizza.
  • 1st Century B.C . - Excavations made in Pompeii under the mountain and volcano Vesuvius that prove the existence of pizzas that were common in that part of Italy. People of Pompeii and nearby Naples often eat such meals, and in the ruins of Pompeii archeologist even found entire untouched workshops, shops, and tools of the trade that are used for selling and production of pizzas.
  • 1522 - After tomatoes were first imported to the Europe from the New World, people of Naples first managed to combine them with their bread products, thus creating the earliest form of modern pizza. As was Naples one of the centers of the Italy food production and a busy port full of sailors, the word of mouth about this new dish spread across the Europe.
Pizza History Timeline
  • 17th Century - Pizza created in Naples gained great popularity among its citizens and tourists who visited that area of Italy.
  • 18th Century - Wife of King of Naples, Queen Maria Carolina d'Asburgo Lorena (1752-1814) had in her palace special oven that was used for making pizzas.
  • 1830 - Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba, the first ever modern pizzeria opened in Naples.
  • 1889 - By the orders of Umberto I King of Italy and his wife Queen Margherita di Savoia, the most famous Naples pizza chef Raffaele Esposito created for them three pizzas. After the King and Queen expressed their immense satisfaction for his work, Naples became firmly the center of Pizza world, and designs of Raffaele Esposito became standard for all future pizzas.
  • 19th Century - By the end of 19th century, citizens of Naples consumed pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The manufacturing of pizzas gained much advancement, especially use of various toppings. Pizza was sold on the streets, and later on in dedicated street establishments - pizzerias.
  • Early 20th century - The first Italian pizza in America was introduced in Chicago by the street peddlers who walked up and down Taylor Street and sold the hot slices of Pizzas to the pedestrians. They maintained the heat of the slices by holding them in cylindrical drums that had a compartment which was filled with hot charcoal.
  • 1905 - First American license for baking pizzas granted to Gennaro Lombardiin Spring Street in New York City.
  • 1910 - Famous Joe's Tomato Pies pizzeria opens in Trenton's Chambersburg section.
  • 1912 - Papa's Tomato Pies, one of the oldest pizzerias that is still active was opened in Trenton's Chambersburg.
  • 1924 - Famous American cook Anthony "Totonno'' Pero opens his Totonno's Pizzeria in Coney Island, N.Y.
  • 1925 - Frank Pepe opened his famous Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Conn.
  • 1943 - Invention of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (with crust that rises an inch or more above the plate and surrounds deep piles of toppings) by Ike Sewell in his "Pizzeria Uno".
  • 1945 - American soldiers that returned from the World War 2 brought home their newfound taste for pizza.
    1950 - Popularity of pizza rose in America after several big celebrities of Italian origin started promoting it (Jerry Colonna, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante, and baseball star Joe DiMaggio).
  • 1957 -The first supermarket frozen pizza was released by Celentano Brothers. Soon after that frozen pizzas became very popular across entire US.
  • 1958 - Opening of the first Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas, which will later become worldwide franchise of pizza restaurants.
  • 1959 - The first of many "Little Caesar" pizzerias opens.
  • 1967 - The first Domino's opens.
  • 1984 - The first Papa John's opens.
  • 1995 -The first appearance of revolutionary "self-rising'' crust was unveiled by Kraft, which purchased Tombstone in 1986.
  • 2009 - European Union established ruling that protected Naples' Neapolitan pizza as a cultural food heritage. All pizzerias that want to create real Neapolitan pizza must comply with the strict standards for ingredients and process of its preparation.
Pizza History Timeline