Santa Romana - Pizzeria di Quartiere: Two Brothers Highlight Roman Pizzas

Santa Romana - Pizzeria di Quartiere is about two aspiring young Roman brothers who have the right formula to make their dream come true in Rome. Davide Rotundo and his brother Raoul, a promising pizza chef, present their talent with the iconic Roman pizza and an immediate cuisine in a warm and welcoming environment in the area of Magliana at the capital.

The brothers have a strong background in the world of pizza, coming from a family of pizza makers of the Campania origin, the region of Naples where pizza was born in the 1600. Rome has its own identifiable variant, the Roman pizza with a thin and crispy crust. And this is the identity that they chose for Santa Romana which is an evolution that was sprouted from Fiori di Zucca, their family's first pizzeria in Rome.

"Our parents are of Campania origin and they have been working in this profession for over twenty years. In 2007 they opened their Neapolitan pizzeria in Marconi, mainly oriented towards takeaway, and it is precisely from there that our journey began," says Davide.

On top of their experience at the family's business, the two brothers decided to broaden their horizons. Davide entered the world of marketing by collaborating with important brands such as Peroni Beer, while Raoul started his apprenticeship in the oven of various pizzerias in Rome. Things shifted at the beginning of 2020 when both brothers returned to the family business, Fiori di Zucca. However, like all the restaurants during the particular pandemic period, the family had to rely solely on take away. 

Santa Romana was born in an unconventional way - initially as an experimental kitchen within the structure of Fiori di Zucca. It saw success afterwards so they found a real home for their project in the Magliana area and named it Santa Romana. "Romana, because we wanted to make the identity of our product clear from the beginning, holy, so that the pizza can be made holy, Roman precisely," explains Davide. Santa Romana is reminiscent of a neighborhood pizzeria with an ambience of the past, a large open brick pizza oven dominating the dining room. The dining room which seats sixty, fills up fast even on weeknights, at times even on double shifts per table. It goes without saying that their pizzeria has been well-accepted at the neighborhood by residents and visitors from the minute it opened its doors.

The Pizza Maker and His Roman Pizza

A pizzeria's soul is the pizza and everything else revolves around it. In a city where this dish plays such an important role in the culture of the people, there is a great expectation for quality. At Santa Romana, Raoul, who has grown up with his hands in the dough since he was just fifteen years old, has had the experience and training from the pizza chefs he worked with at his parents' Fiori di Zucca. By the time he turned twenty, in 2021, he decided to get a formal training of pizza making at the Excellence Academy in Rome. Here, he learned the main techniques and secrets of the different styles of the "white art" - from the Neapolitan to the Roman style, the pizza on the shovel and in the pan. Additionally, he also learned the basics of bread making from the great masters of the capital namely Jacopo Mercuro, Luca Pezzetta and Daniele Di Grazia.

Coupled with his talent, his studies and hard work earned him several awards, winning at the "Stand Up Pizza 2021", a competition as part of the Città della Pizza event in Rome, participation in the television broadcasts of LA7 "Mica Pizza e Fichi" and a well-known show at Sky channel by Renato Bosco "'Na Pizza". Furthermore, because of Raoul's pizza, Fiori di Zucca was entered in the Gambero Rosso gastronomic guide Rome and the Best of Lazio. Lastly, he was also highlighted by the journalist Luigi Cremona, as one of the 7 Emerging Italian Pizza Chefs of 2023

"The Neapolitan represents our origins, but the Roman identifies us, the city where we were born and have lived, it is our history," says Raoul proudly. Raoul works with 100% biga (yeast starter) with a 180-gram loaf, rolled out by hand and not with a rolling pin, to enhance the structure of the dough, which thus releases its aromas, while enhancing its friability. In the oven, it goes through slow baking at no more than 320 degrees Celcius which makes it crispy, as tradition dictates. 


The menu of Santa Romana is short and simple, composed of typical traditional Roman proposals in a pizzeria. They are well-rooted to tradition and expansive to more creative compositions using seasonal ingredients. The mainstays in the menu are the classic variations of pizza between €7 to €10; seasonal pizzas that can be between €12 to €14 (depending on the ingredients); desserts at €6, and supplí and bruschette as the fried appetizers between €2.50 to €6. Opening the meal with their variety of fried appetizers unlocks the window of understanding what the brothers want to convey to their diners. Tasty and without imparting the heaviness associated to fried food, the fried Lasagnetta al Ragú is well worth that pre-pizza bite, as well as the Supplí of Tonarello di Cacio e Pepe. Off the menu daily proposals, based on the day's procurement of raw materials, are shown on the large blackboard on the wall. 

Santa Romana - Pizzeria di Quartiere

Address: Piazza Certaldo 12, 00146 Rome, Italy
Tel. +39 06 69317674
Open for dinner daily except Tuesdays