Restaurants & Bars | July 17, 2022 2:43 pm

Luxury Pizza Sparks Controversy in Italy

Crazy Pizza provoked some heated replies

Crazy Pizza
Jodie Kidd, Chloe Green, Caroline Stanbury, Paris Hilton and Julie Brangstrup attend the Cash & Rocket lunch at Crazy Pizza on June 6, 2019 in London, England.
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Pizza is among the most versatile foods out there. Looking for a carefully-made pie with high-end ingredients? That’s absolutely possible. Looking for a dollar slice when you’re in the need for something cheap and filling? That, too, is something you’re likely to find without too much trouble in many cities. But what happens when pizza prompts an existential debate over its very nature? Well, then you’d have a sense of what’s taking place right now in Naples.

In a new article for Air Mail, Elena Clavarino documents the heated rivalries that broke out when the owner of Crazy Pizza critiqued many of his competitors on Instagram. That would be Flavio Briatore, whose career has also included being embroiled in a Formula 1 scandal. Over the years, various Crazy Pizza locations have established a reputation as a go-to spot for the well-to-do — as well as a restaurant where you can spent a lot of money on a pizza.

A 2019 Eater report on the opening of London’s Crazy Pizza noted that “a courgette flower and anchovy pizza comes in at a cool £30, while the showpiece ‘tartufo’ which features shaved black truffle and white truffle olive oil is a sweltering £45.” That was the first of several locations for the restaurant, which has come to Italy in the intervening years.

As Clavarino’s article details, among the leading restaurateurs pushing back against Briatore’s forays into Italy was Gino Sorbillo, whom Eater described in 2017 as “one of the most famous pizzaioli in Italy.” The public feud between the two men appears to have quieted down, but the questions over pizza — is it a luxury item, or something for everyone to enjoy? — have lingered. All of this debate might just be enough to leave you craving a slice or two.