Spicchi d'arte, what a pizza in Tricase!

Thick edge and super-topping: in Salento, discovering the nice project of Ippazio Ricchiuto and his team

08-03-2021
by Sonia Gioia
The team at Spicchi d’arte, pizzeria in Tricase

The team at Spicchi d’arte, pizzeria in Tricase (Lecce). From the top left corner, in the red shirt Simona FerraroStefano MorettoAlessandra RizzoDavide SignorileChiara SabatoMatteo Ventura. In the middle, left to right: Giorgio SciurtiStefania Vantaggiato, owner Ippazio Ricchiuto. At the bottom, left to right: Luca BleveDanilo D’Aversa and Federico Paiano

It took him one whole year to find the name. And then, tacSpicchi d’arte. It felt like a touch of genius, and a manifesto too. A very ambitious one. After all, the same applies to the names of the pizzas: Il bacio di KlimtVan Gogh. Luckily there are also Polpo scoppiato and Tricase porto, to put the menu on solid ground, and give a break to the Austro-Dutch genius. But that name, whether one likes it or not, has a very important meaning for the pizzaiolo who gave birth to it.

 For Ippazio Ricchiuto it shows the desire to emancipate pizza from the sloppiness that makes high quality pizzerias always so rare. It shows the desire to change that relationship, and use hands as well as heart and brain to make masterful pizzas. To give new value to the emblem of Italian food in the world, which too often is grounded in serial, industrial reproductions.

Pizza Chardonnay from Spicchi d’arte, a pizzeria in Tricase (Lecce): cream of courgettes, fiordilatte, porcini, prawns with Chardonnay, air of prawns, reduction of chardonnay, courgettes cut in julienne 

Pizza Chardonnay from Spicchi d’arte, a pizzeria in Tricase (Lecce): cream of courgettes, fiordilatte, porcini, prawns with Chardonnay, air of prawns, reduction of chardonnay, courgettes cut in julienne 

Il Bacio di Klimt: cream of courgettes, cream of yellow and purple potatoes, cream of beetroot, dots of yellow pepper cream, aromatised date tomatoes, grilled aubergines, courgettes, and peppers, sprouts and beer from Bari 

Il Bacio di Klimt: cream of courgettes, cream of yellow and purple potatoes, cream of beetroot, dots of yellow pepper cream, aromatised date tomatoes, grilled aubergines, courgettes, and peppers, sprouts and beer from Bari 

Because if it's true that nothing makes us happier than pizza – see the survey from 2019 that Doxa/Deliveroo made for the World Day of Happiness – it's also true that that happiness is not perfectly round if the pizza is overcooked, gummy, or topped with raw materials of average quality. As often the case.
We're in Tricase, a town in Salento that has a remarkable number of delicious places which alone would be worthy of a trip, if it wasn't that the seaside here is also deserving. Spicchi d’arte is off the historic centre, though not quite yet in the suburbs.

The pizzaiolo, born in 1990, is named after the patron saint of the nearby town of Tiggiano (Lecce). It's the hometown of Ippazio Ricchiuto. Married at 21, at 18 he was already dad to Arianna. He was basically born surrounded by flour, mozzarella and tomato. Spicchi d’arte is his dream come true, one year before turning 30.

Giuseppe Alessio: fiordilatte, mortadella, stracciatella, crispy chicory tips, glaze of balsamic vinegar, powdered taralli from Apulia 

Giuseppe Alessio: fiordilatte, mortadella, stracciatella, crispy chicory tips, glaze of balsamic vinegar, powdered taralli from Apulia 

Pizzaiolo Ippazio Ricchiuto, owner of Spicchi d'arte since the 21st of March 2019

Pizzaiolo Ippazio Ricchiuto, owner of Spicchi d'arte since the 21st of March 2019

“My pizzeria was born on the 21st of March 2019, on the first day of spring. It seats 120 people, it's full every night since the day we opened. A miracle”. And on weekdays? “That's what I'm talking about. At the weekend, we seat three times as many people, in three shifts. I find it touching. And every time, when I look from the pass at the dining room in front of me, I still find it unbelievable”...