If you ever took the plane to come to Rome then you must have landed in Leonardo da Vinci International Airport located in Fiumicino. It's the first town you arrive to but perhaps you don't even notice it as you immediately move on to your destination. Fiumicino is a town in the province of Rome that runs along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. For a Roman, it's one of the popular beach places to escape to for a day away from the city. In fact, as soon as the warm weather settles in, weekends are always packed with city dwellers looking for a relaxing day in this seaside town. A walk in the beach or along the harbor and a lunch of seafood or pizza is a typical day in Fiumicino.
Fiumicino has been my home for the past years and being from this town, I have already established a list of places on where to run to when I don't feel like cooking. If a pizza craving strikes at home, my cooking will just have to take a backseat. Pizza is something I cannot compete with. I don't even try making my own (only on rare occasions when I am developing recipes) because for my son, there is only one pizzeria that meets his pizza criteria. For a 10-year old, he has quite a well-developed natural knowledge about good food. And my husband and I do not even dispute his choice. As always, he is right.
Roberto Cacchione of Pizzeria Marina was the 2003 World Champion Pizza Chef and he has also earned a succession of awards and notches in the global and national pizza competitions that took place in Italy. Titled or not, his pizzas are very popular in town because they are simply delicious and can easily be digested. I never get that feeling of heaviness or continuous thirst that accompanies badly made pizzas.
After all the years that we have been getting our pizza al taglio (rectangular pizzas that are sliced and sold by weight) from him, we got to know him and his pizzas well. He is an honest person who is driven with the word quality and that aspect of him shows in his pizzas. He only uses Italian ingredients that have excellent properties. The extra virgin olive oil he uses is guaranteed pure because he gets it from an artisan olive oil press in a small town and the toppings on his pizzas are all fresh.
And the flour. He uses Agugiaro & Figna's Le 5 Stagioni flour that is created specifically for professional pizza chefs. The soul of the pizzas is the dough. You can top the pizza with heart-stopping toppings but what really counts is the digestibility of the dough. Between a high quality pizza flour and the pizza chef, the dough that comes out should be the real essence of the pizza and Roberto is able to make magic with his pizzas. After all, he didn't just pick up his titles from anywhere, he earned every single one of them!
If ever you go to his pizzeria, you would notice its simplicity and compactness. It was established in 1989 by his parents and now he handles it along with his wife, Irina. Pizza al taglio places are usually small anyway because it's not usually a place for sitting but rather a place to get the pizza and take away. In front of his pizzeria are tables and chairs for those who want to enjoy the pizza under the sun, especially in the colder months. His place gets so much sun that staying in his pizzeria in front of the harbor even in winter is already a wonderful experience on its own.
Roberto has mainstay pizza topping combinations and he also experiments with new flavors sometimes. Whatever comes out from his oven, you will surely be one satisfied customer. It's the kind of pizzeria that boasts of Italian quality.
His most popular pizza (above) is also my son's and my favorite which is topped with tomato sauce and fresh anchovies that is then baked then topped further with fresh tomatoes, parsley and drizzled with fresh extra virgin olive oil. It is very healthy, tasty and just so delicious! I have tried similar pizzas like this but nothing comes close to his.
In my last visit to Pizzeria Marina, I armed myself with my camera to catch Roberto in action in the kitchen. Pizza doughs that have been left to rise for hours are resting on the floured marble counter. One of the most important things about pizzas that can easily be digested is the length of fermentation it takes.
When pizzas are needed to be created, he flattens the dough with his hands, stretches it and places it on the baking pan. He accomplishes this in a span of just a couple of minutes. Magic!
He showed me partly how he makes two of his best selling pizzas, the one with the tomatoes and anchovies (below), and the one with the prosciutto crudo and black truffles.
Pizzeria Marina is just about a 5-minute car ride from the airport. It is in the heart of Fiumicino, along the town's harbor.
Via Torre Clementina, 194 D
00054 Fiumicino (RM), ItalyTel: +39 349 8403895