Just returned from my trip out to Northern Italy, and here's what I've uncovered in graphic detail:
The pizzas in the north are a wide variety of different styles, some more Roman (very thin, crispy), some Neapolitan and some street pizza that defy any category...
I'll begin by saying that I found 3 really super pizzas in the north, and even though my tastes usually identify with a wood fired neapolitan pizza, I'm open to other styles (I'm from Chicago...nuff said)
The two best pizzas I could uncover were Yellow Bar and Il Pizzaiuolo...Yellow Bar (Via del Proconsolo, 39r
Florence 50122) serves a delicious, super thin crusted light pie; I could've easily eaten about 3 of 'em! They have a wood fired oven and offer a Mozzarella di Buffala Margherita thats light and right.
Il Pizzaiuolo (Via Dei Macci, 113/R 50122 Florence) is run by a Naples transplant, and his pies are exceptionally good and are true to his neapolitan roots. Good quality Fiore di Latte, San Marzano Tomato sauce and a slight chew/slight crunch to his crust...really good. If you can't make the trek down to Naples, this will give you a good idea as to what that style is. Highly recommend both places.
Yikes! A ban on Forno a Legna (wood fired ovens) makes making a true neapolitan pizza impossible here. There is much griping and groaning in the Venice pizza community about the ban (there is great concern that the soot from wood burning ovens will further impact their monuments), and anyone who is looking for that authentic style pie will have to venture about 30 minutes outside of Venice to Mestre. The recommend I heard of most in Mestre was a place called "Pizzeria Vesuvio", (Pizzeria Vesuvio. Pizzeria. Via Miranese in Mestre 244 Venice 30174) which serves up authentic, wood fired Neapolitan pies. I didn't have a chance to verify that, but that's a good excuse for another trip out there. BTW, Venice is a very crowded tourist mecca, and alot of the pizzerias in the main walkway are serving what I'd call "Tourist Pies". Tasteless cheese, perfectly round overly chewy crust, hey its Domino's!
I did find a place near the rail station in Venice (Santa Lucia) that serves a really great pie from their deck oven. Pizzeria Vittoria at S. Croce 745, Venice. This pie was similar to what I found at Yellow in Venice, only without a wood fired oven. Very addicting and light. Highly recommended. Stay away from the tourist trap places. Anywhere where there is a waiter out front circus barking for customers will telegraph disappointment.
more pics to follow...