Sorbillo vs Briatore: Challenge between the 2 Most Famous Pizzas in Italy (our Experience and Opinion)

Guess what triggered a huge discussion in Italy? Pizza! The best known and most loved Italian dish in the world was invented in the city of Naples, where it was a very common dish among poor people. According to a legend, in this city pizza Margherita was invented and named after the queen Margherita di Savoia. Its toppings represented the colours of the Italian flag (white mozzarella, green basil and red tomato sauce). From that day a lot of pizza makers went wild and created even more “gourmet” versions of the traditional pizza Margherita. For example, you can find this “gourmet” pizza in Falvio Briatore’s restaurants. The prices there are so high that they drew a lot of criticism and triggered come fights between Italian pizza lovers.

Gino Sorbillo vs Crazy Pizza

Who is Flavio Briatore?

He’s an Italian entrepreneur from Piedmont, well-known for being the chief executive of Formula1. He also owns a restaurant chain and luxury clubs. He also owns three pizzerias called Crazy Pizza: one in Porto Cervo, another in Rome and a third in Milan. The last one opened its doors very recently in one of the coolest areas of the city.

The main characteristic of this special pizza is a thin and crunchy yeast-free dough and toppings made with the “best ingredients available on the market” as Briatore said. Both in Rome and in Milan the prices are in fact very high: pizza’s price can range from 13 euro for a Margherita to 60 euro for a pizza with some slices of Pata Negra, a popular Spanish ham. A lot of people started criticizing him for this reason, stating that these prices are ridiculous.

Gino Sorbillo and his pizza of “the city’s poorest alleys”

Also Gino Sorbillo took part in the debate about pizza. He’s a well-known pizza maker from Naples who over the years became a sort of “ambassador of Italian pizza”. He was born in Naples in 1974 from a family of master pizza makers. Just imagine that his grandfather, Luigi Sorbillo, had 21 children and all of them became pizza makers!

Apart from the historic pizzerias in Naples, he owns a lot of other pizzerias in Italy and abroad. There are 4 of them in Milan: “Lievito Madre” near the Duomo, “Gino Sorbillo Olio a Crudo”,  the smaller “Antica pizza fritta da zia Esterina Sorbillo” and last but not least, “Sorbillo Isola”, which opened its doors in December 2021. Well, the citizens of Milan love Sorbillo’s Neapolitan pizza. In his restaurants you can’t book a table in advance, and that’s why there’s always a long queue of people waiting outside. This happens mostly in Naples but the amounf of people is just as impressive in Milan.

Sorbillo defends the idea of a pizza for “the cities’ poorest alleys”, that is a very large and satiating pizza, that everyone can afford. The pizza base is typically Neapolitan, also called “a ruota di carro”, but in addition to traditional pizzas, he serves fancy varieties with creative names, always with high quality ingredients. In Naples a Margherita or a Marinara pizza cost € 3,50. In his restaurants in Milan the prices adapt to the cost of living, which is high compared to South Italy. Still, the prices are lower than those in Briatore’s pizzerias, where an Antica Margherita pizza costs € 8,30, while pizzas with more toppings reach a maximum of € 12.

The debate between Flavio Briatore and Gino Sorbillo

So these two popular characters argued about “pizza gourmet” and “pizza del popolo”.

It all started when Briatore replied to the critics regarding his prices saying that a good pizza can’t cost 4 or 5 euro. “What ingredients do they use to make such cheap pizzas?” asked the entrepreneur in a long Instagram video that was published on his profile. He also claimed that it’s impossible to sell such cheap pizzas like Sorbillo’s when you have to pay so many things: rent, employee salary and high quality ingredients.

A crowd of people gathered in Naples to protest against Briatore’s words, and on this occasion Sorbillo distributed pizza for free throughout the day to prove that everyone should afford to buy pizza, even children, pensioners and unemployed people.

After some debates on tv, Briatore and Sorbillo made up. Sorbillo actually proposed to Briatore to make pizza together sometime, while Briatore joked about opening a pizzeria in Naples.

In the end, the two shook hands as a sign of peace, and this helped advertise both Briatore and Sorbillo’s pizzerias.

Hope you liked this video and article! We suggest you also take a look at our vlogs about Cinque Terre and Langhe.

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