Naples pizza makers celebrate Unesco recognition

Pizza Credit: PA

Neapolitan pizza making has received Unesco recognition due to its "importance to humanity".

The art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, or "pizzaiuolo", was one of 33 traditional practices from around the world that have been added to the UN cultural organisations's list of "forms of expression" that are of importance to humanity.

Pizza makers in the Italian city celebrated the recognition of their "intangible cultural heritage of humanity" by throwing dough up in the air in the streets and plan to give away free pizzas next week at a massive street party.

Each Neapolitan pizza is made by hand. Credit: PA

According to Italian Agriculture minister Maurizio Martina, the art of the pizzaiuolo "involves Italian know-how based on experience, gestures and traditional knowledge passed on from generation to generation".

He added that the campaign, begun in 2009, marked the first time Unesco had recognised a profession linked to food production.

Massimo Boddi, whose Univerde Foundation was responsible for gathering signatures to launch the successful bid, said the recognition was an important victory of "tradition over globalisation" since each pizza is made by hand individually.

Traditional Neapolitan pizza making sees the dough thrown into the air and flipped, before it is topped and baked in a wood-fired oven.

The Unesco bid argued the art of the pizzaiuolo was part of the country’s cultural and gastronomic tradition.

Neapolitan pizzas are cooked in wood fired ovens. Credit: PA

Other winners of Unesco recognition this year were the ritual Kumbh Mela baths taken in India, Bosnian woodcarving, and the "Sega tambour" dance and song performances of Mauritius's Rodrigues Island.

With its newest accolade, Italy now counts six cultural practices on the "intangible cultural heritage" list, including the "Mediterranean diet" and Cremona's violin craftsmanship.

Being added to the list involves obligations, primarily to safeguard the practice and enforce a UN treaty on protecting and promoting "intangible heritage".

Italy is already the country with the most Unesco World Heritage Sites at 53, including the historic centres of Rome, Naples and Florence, the entire lagoon city of Venice and the Amalfi Coast.