The two-day celebration of pizzerias from around the country and from Naples will take place in the Bronx’s Little Italy in the fall.

by Nicole Levy Updated June 19, 2018 5:47 PM

Eat your way around the country’s top pizzerias on one Bronx street this fall.

As many as 30 pizza makers from across the U.S., and a small contingent from Naples, Italy, will sell tastes of their signature pies and slices during the first-ever New York Pizza Festival taking place on Crescent Street in Belmont’s Little Italy district over Columbus Day weekend.

The outdoor festival, which will be free to attend, is modeled on one of the world’s largest celebrations of cheese-y, saucy flatbread, the annual Napoli Pizza Village in Naples.

“Our idea,” says Fred Mortati, 52, an Italian foods importer whose Financial District-based group Pizza Academy Foundation is organizing the event with the Belmont Business Improvement District, “was to have a similar concept to what’s overseas: a two-day celebration to bring some of the most renowned pizza makers from around the U.S.. . . to have these stands lining the street in New York, where people can come and enjoy and try these expressions of pizza.”

A fixture at the Naples event, famed pizzaiolo Gino Sorbillo says he’s happy to see the New York Pizza Festival come to life in the Bronx, and to participate: “The pizza world is strong all over the world, especially in New York, and after Napoli Pizza Village, New York will be another great spectacle and pizza community gathering,” Sorbillo says in a statement.

Pizzerias thus far committed to visiting what Mortati calls “arguably the number one city for pizza, after Naples” include: San Francisco’s Tony’s Pizza Napoletana from 12-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani; Seattle’s Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria; Atlanta’s The Local Pizzaiolo from Giulio Adriani, the four-time World Pizza Champion behind Forcella in New York; and Chicago’s Spacca Napoli. New York favorites like Kesté Pizza & Vino, Denino’s and Speedy Romeo are also on the lineup curated by local pizza historian and tour guide Scott Wiener and “Pizza Today” magazine editor-in-chief Peter LaChappelle.

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