Italian vs Balkan Pizza – The Winner Is…

House Special Shrimp Pizza

This blog could probably be written at any point along our trip to the former Yugoslavia. Italy has great pizza, don’t get me wrong as we found in many places we visited from Bergamo, to Cuggiono, to Reggio. But I suppose that is expected in the birthplace of this now international delight (I mean really, imagine the world without pizza!). What I didn’t expect, but later came to depend on, was the quality of pizza throughout the Balkans.

First off, there are several things that make a good pizza and I just can’t decide on what’s most important. The good pizzas we’ve had on our trips have several things in common: they are cooked in wood-fired pizza oven the old school way; they have a very thin crust that is cooked to perfection, they have juuuuust the right amount of sauce, enough to give off a great flavor, but yet not overpower the pie and not make the thin crust soggy in the middle; they have a great cheese and excellent toppings; the toppings are placed randomly, the pizza artist not exhibiting much fuss over where they landed; the shape of the pie is often irregular (I think this adds to the visual experience and enhances the romance of a hand crafted pizza just for me), and last but not’s not sliced! (At first I was a little annoyed that my pie was not pre-sliced, but I came to not only expect it, but the experience was lessened when it did not come whole.

The pizza we had on the bank of the Ljubljanica River was one of the many excellent ones we had on our trip. It was right along the bank of the river with plenty of outdoor seating to soak up the atmosphere. We found a relaxing spot at a table under one of the many large trees that line the river, with a view of the Triple Bridge and the Franciscan Church of the Assumption, a large pink church that is the anchor of the main square. We ordered a classic – Margarita – and despite it’s simplicity, it’s a favorite.

For our 6th night of this Balkan motorcycle adventure, we cruised down to Rovinj, Croatia. We sauntered down to the waterfront to find some dinner and, you guessed, it we ordered pizza again.  There are so many options for your pie but Rebecca ordered a pizza that we had never seen before which was the house special with shrimp – delish. We took our time and savored the moment and the meal, happy to have enjoyed another great day on this adventure!