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Intervento dell’Ambasciatore d’Italia, Gianluigi Benedetti, in occasione dell’evento “50 top pizza” (Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Tokyo, 30 maggio 2023)

Dear Barbara Guerra, Dear Albert Sapere, creators and organizers of the “50 Top Pizza award”,

Dear Prof. Silvana De Maio, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Tokyo,

Dear representatives of the top pizzerias in the Asia Pacific Region,

Der companies representatives and sponsors of this event,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am very pleased to kick off the 2023 edition of the “50 Top Pizza Asia-Pacific” Award, the coveted and prestigious prize that tonight will be given to the 50 best pizzerias in the 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region.


Let me first of all convey a warm greeting to the friends who are following the ceremony online from Italy, and especially from the pizza world capital: Napoli. Thanks for being with us.


I am particularly delighted that Japan, which counts more than 20 thousand authentically Italian restaurants and, among them, great pizzerias, is hosting this year’s event.


Pizza, one of the most loved and eaten foods in the world, is not only a great excellence of the Neapolitan and Italian gastronomic tradition. It is also a worldwide-recognized symbol of our cuisine and of the Mediterranean diet.


Let me say clearly that, with its flavors and colors, there is no other dish that recalls Italy as much as pizza.


Since Barbara Guerra, Albert Sapere and Luciano Pignataro created this prize in 2017, “50 Top Pizza” has become a real point of reference for enthusiasts and insiders, in Italy and around the world.


“50 Top Pizza” is not only a ranking chart or an online guide: it is, above all, the recognition of the profound commitment to the dissemination of the true art of pizza-making all over the globe.


This art, that is made up of manual skills, precise leavening and baking times, and the use of simple but superior quality raw materials – flour, EVO oil, yeast, salt, tomato and mozzarella – is proving to be able to express itself, authentically, even tens of thousands of kilometers far from our country.


This heritage – which is an expression of our Made in Italy – must be protected, enhanced and promoted, and I am pleased to say that the awarding of the “50 Top Pizza” prize contributes to these objectives.


In this perspective, let me stress that spreading the culture of quality Italian food through the motto “The Extraordinary Taste”, enhancing the excellence of the Italian cuisine, raising awareness towards Italian authentic and genuine food products, is an incredible tool to promoting our creativity and the Italian lifestyle and increase the Italian export in the world.


The Embassy pursues this goal every day together with all Italian institutions in Japan through many national initiatives and programs. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that thanks to an agreement with Amazon, from May 29 to June 2 – the “Digital Made in Italy Days” – thousands of certified “Made in Italy” products will be displayed online in special “virtual showcases” in 11 countries, including Japan.


I express once again my thanks to the organizers of “50 Top Pizza” for their efforts in spreading and promoting the ancient art of Italian pizza making and I am pleased to turn the floor to Barbara and Alberto for the beginning of the ceremony.


To all the pizza makers competing tonight: best of luck, gambatte kudasai!