Francesco Apreda’s Spezial Pizza at Divinity

The chef at The Pantheon Iconic Rome launches a proposal of pizzas related to the Roman tradition ... but with a spicy touch

Pizza with Potatoes, guanciale and fennel seeds 

Pizza with Potatoes, guanciale and fennel seeds by Francesco Apreda at Divinity in Rome (photo Alberto Blasetti)

After Carlo Cracco and Massimiliano Alajmo – just to mention some of the most famous and debated recent examples – Francesco Apreda joins the list of great chefs who offer a personal (not always canonical) interpretation of pizza in their more casual establishments.

However, the chef of Neapolitan origins has chosen to be rather faithful to tradition for Divinity, the restaurant and rooftop bar on the spectacular panoramic terrace of The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel, on whose ground floor one can also find the new gourmet restaurant Idylio. Indeed, the menu aims for conviviality and simplicity, in a Mediterranean style, but not without some exotic influences that are so dear to the chef. Hence there’s space for “variations” on mozzarella, fish carpaccios and crustaceans, pasta dishes to be shared, fish and meat skewers cooked in the tandoori oven and then pizza, handed to Lorenzo De Bellis from Abruzzo. Or rather, the Spezial Pizza.

Lorenzo De Bellis and Francesco Apreda

Lorenzo De Bellis and Francesco Apreda

There are seven options divided into two types: round and “quadra”, square, inspired by the traditional Roman pizza, both cooked in an oven with rotating gas. Two different types of dough (semolafor the round pizza, whole wheat for the square one) but both fragrant and light, with rather classic toppings and not too elaborated, but made special by the “spicy” touch that is so dear to Apreda, who has returned from his experiences in India and Asia with an uncommon sensitivity for captivating and well-balanced spices.

So, we range from Margherita Speziale – round, with the delicious Spicy Bombay Mix created by the chef to finish the mozzarella and tomato topping – to “quadra” with Cherry tomatoes, ricotta, rocket and masala, in a lovely mix of Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. You can order one each, or put the pizzas in the middle of the table, even in the lounge area, pairing them with a glass of bubbles or one of the signature cocktails by bartender Mirko Zaccaria. You’ll enjoy The Great Beauty of Rome from one of the best rooftops in the capital.


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