Images Courtesy of Griffin Reilly
City Plaza Pizza
There are few things that can bring all different kinds of people together in happiness, but one of them is definitely pizza. In fact, pizza brought thousands of people together at City Plaza in what was one of the most delicious events of the year: The Boston Pizza Festival.
The festival, co-directed by Giancarlo Natale and Raffaele Scalzi, was held for it’s inaugural year in the shadow of City Hall this past weekend. Inspired by trips to Italy and the heritage of the event directors, the Pizza Festival aimed to bring a slice of Italy to Beantown, and it sure delivered.
A Tasty Tour
Over 20 pizza makers were present, with some of the most notable being Regina Pizzeria, UpperCrust Pizza, and Blaze Pizza. Slices could be purchased for as low as $2, and whole pies for $6 and up. This created a great opportunity to sample all the flavors Boston has to offer, and maybe even to discover your new favorite spot.
Attendees could be seen all over the crowded plaza clutching greasy paper plates to themselves. Almost every vendor gave their rendition of the classic cheese or margherita, but the real excitement came from every company’s specialties. Between a pie covered in mushrooms, truffle oil and balsamic to UpperCrust’s “The GOAT” featuring artichokes, spinach and goat cheese, there really was something for every taste.
Not Just Pizza
As great as the pizza was, that was not all that Boston Pizza Festival had to offer. Beer and wine was available for those over 21, in addition to live music and even some pizza performances. The “Jersey Pizza Boys” of talk show fame (Michael and Nicholas Testa) made an appearance. Other guests included Pizza Acrobat Danilo Pagano, Cozzolino (author of “The Pizza Diet”), and even members of the United States Pizza Team.
A demo kitchen was also set up, and the incredible aroma coming from it may have even inspired some to learn the secrets of quality pizza for themselves. The Dough Connection also sponsored education seminars, and featured many different specialists displaying their talents and crafts.
Non-pizza sponsors and vendors also came to show off their goods and products, with everything from freebies on behalf of the GoPuff app to an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, sporting a mean V6 engine.
The festival drew in thousands, with over 8,000 tickets sold in and almost double that estimated in attendance. General admission was $15 a person, while VIP packages sold for $50 each.
From Naples to the North End
Although the pizzas at the event were certainly Boston-based, it found many of its roots abroad. The Napoli Pizza Village, an annual pizza festival in Italy, was the inspiration for the event. Additionally, a few of the pizza makers and instructors at the Boston came in from overseas. In fact, two Italian organizations (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana and Comune di Napoli) sponsored the event. Marra Forni, another sponsor, crafted the beautifully ornate pizza ovens used to cook the greasy greatness.
The organizers plan for it to be an annual event, and we at IM Boston hope so, too! The Boston Pizza Festival was a great opportunity for Bostonians (and beyond) to gather around the important things in life: pizzas.