How to Order Pizza at the "Pizza al taglio" Shop in Italy

Learn phrases and vocabulary words for ordering pizza

Pizza in Rome, Italy
Pizza in Rome, Italy. Nico De Pasquale Photography

I really like pasta (cacio e pepe is my favorite), gelato (fragola, every day all day), and cheese (pecorino forever and ever), but pizza? I love pizza.

For the first few weeks of living in Rome, the only people I knew were the ones who sold pizza.

If you’re not familiar with a “pizza al taglio” shop, it’s basically a place where they make large sheets of varieties of pizza and when you walk in, they cut a piece off for you, hence the “al taglio - to the cut” part.

They also will sell delicious fried foods like arancini, supplì and, depending on the location, roasted chicken and potatoes.

To help you navigate this experience with more ease, here are some sample dialogues, phrases, and vocabulary words to know.

Dialogue #1

Dipendente: Buongiorno! - Good afternoon!

You: Buongiorno! - Good afternoon!

Dipendente: Prego. - Go ahead (and order).

You: Cos’è quella? - What’s that one?

Dipendente: Broccolo e provola affumicata. - Broccoli and smoked provolone.
You: Va bene, ne vorrei un pezzetto. - Alright, I’d like a small piece.

Dipendente: La vuoi scaldata? - Warmed up?

You: Sì. - Yes.

Dipendente: Altro? - Anything else?

You: No, basta così. - No, that’s all.

Dipendente: Mangi qua o porti via? - Are you eating it here or taking it away?

You: Porto via. - I’m taking it away.

Dipendente: Vai a piedi o vuoi un vassoio? - Are you (eating it) while on foot or do you want a tray?

You: Un vassoio, per favore. - A tray, please.

Dipendente: Tre e venti. - 3,20 euro.

You: Ecco, grazie. Buona giornata! - Here you go, thanks. Have a good day!

Dipendente: Ciao, altrettanto. - Bye, likewise!

Dialogue #2

Dipendente: Prego. - Go ahead (and order).

You: C’è qualcosa con la salsiccia? - What has something with sausages?

Dipendente: Sì, una con le patate e un’altra più piccante con i funghi. - Yes, one with potatoes and another one that’s spicier with mushrooms.
You: Quella con le patate, per favore. - That one with the potatoes, please.

Dipendente: La vuoi scaldata? - Do you want it warmed up?

You: Sì. - Yes.

Dipendente: Altro? - Anything else?

You: Eh, sì, un pezzetto di pizza bianca e un arancino. - Um, yeah, a small piece of pizza bianca and one arancini.

Dipendente: Poi? - And then?

You: Basta così. - That’s all.

Dipendente: Mangi qua o porti via? - Are you eating it here or taking it away?

You: Porto via. - I’m taking it away.

Dipendente: Cinque e cinquanta. - 5,50 euro.

You: Ecco, grazie. Buona giornata! - Here you go, thanks. Have a good day!

Dipendente: Ciao, altrettanto. - Bye, likewise!

Here are some basic phrases you can use:

  • C’è qualcosa con... (il pesto)? - Is there something with (pesto)?

  • Con (i pomodorini) che c’è? - What is there with small tomatoes?

  • Vorrei / Prendo un pezzetto di quella con il prosciutto. - I would like / I’ll take a little piece of that one with the prosciutto.

  • Quanto? / Quanta? / Quanto grande? - How big? (At this point, the person will show you how much they’re going to cut, and you can say

  • Sì, perfetto. - Yep, perfect.

Or…

  • Un po’ meno - A little less

  • Un po’ di più - A little more

  • Vuoi/Desideri qualcos’altro? - (Do you want) anything else?

  • Mangi qua o porti via? - Are you eating here or are you taking it away?

  • Te la piego come un panino. - Do you want me to fold it for you like a sandwich? (This way you can eat it while walking.)

  • Mangio qua. - I’m eating here.

  • Porto via. - I’m taking it away.

Key Vocabulary Words:

  • Vassoio - Tray

  • Scaldato - Warmed up

  • Gli spinaci - Spinach

  • I funghi - Mushrooms

  • Le patate - Potatoes

  • La salsiccia - Sausages

  • Piccante - Spicy

For more food-related vocabulary, click here.

What Kind of Pizza do Italians Like Best?

Since there are so many varieties of pizza—and because in Italy, la pizza è sacra (pizza is sacred)— I went searching to see what kinds of pizza Italians like best.

Unsurprisingly, preferences differ by where you’re from in Italy, meaning that if you’re from the north, you’re more likely to enjoy la prosciutto e funghi (prosciutto and mushrooms), while if you’re from the south, you’ll take la classica bufala della marinara (classic buffalo cheese and marinara) all day any day. Of course, la margherita is a top-seller, too. To see the other types that are well-loved, check out this article that includes result from a web opinion study.