The VPN has taken the gospel of authentic pizza-making around the world, training locals and certifying restaurants, especially in Japan, where tourists returning from Naples have fueled interest for traditional pizza, and the United States, where the national branch has certified 16 restaurants.
At first, gaining fans for the Neapolitan pizza was "something of an uphill battle," admits Dino Cardone, marketing director for VPN Americas. But recently, he says, the challenge has been to meet the demand for information, training and certification.
And what does a real Neapolitan pizza taste like? To someone used to American-style pizzas, a little bland in the beginning. But then you start enjoying the freshness of the ingredients and the lightness of the crust—the more you eat it, the better it tastes.
That said, don't count on having it delivered. The law states that the real thing "should be consumed immediately, straight out of the oven, at the pizzeria. If the pizza is removed from the pizzeria to be eaten later, it can no longer carry the certification of a true Neapolitan pizza."
Dina Modianot-Fox, a regular Smithsonian.com contributor, recently wrote about "Ancient Rome's Forgotten Paradise."