People & Places with Pierce: Apizza di Napoli

Italians are passionate about three things: pasta, pizza, and family. For one Aiken clan, two out of three isn’t bad.

Trey Garzzillo, son of Apizza di Napoli owners Cliff and Wanda Garzzillo, says: “Apizza di Napoli we are family owned. We are certified that the pizza that we make is authentic to the Neapolitan ways. Everything from the flour to the tomatoes, everything we get is imported from Italy. You will not find anything in this state that is remotely similar to what we’re doing.”

That’s because they’re the only certified Neapolitan pizzeria for miles around.

“We have the certification through it’s the VPN Americas,” explained Garzzillo. “It’s based out of Naples, Italy. They certify this is appropriate to what we call a margherita pizza or a marinara pizza to where the pizza that you get, it’s a standard throughout the world. We do get certified pretty regularly.”

Master pizzaiola Jose Barrios visited Aiken for a week to help the Garzzillo’s re-certify.

“Jose is from San Diego and the L.A. region,” said Garzzillo. “He does a lot of trainings in how to make Neapolitan pizza.”

“I started to go to Napoli, Italy to learn from the best teachers over there from 1992 to 2005,” said Barrios. “I got my certificate, master pizzaiolo in 2005.”

“He is the master expert in what he does,” added Garzzillo.

“In 2012, I got third place in the Pizza Olympics in the world,” said Barrios. “The competition was a hundred different restaurants in the world. My pizza was called pizza fantasia. Now, I continue to train people and create the best pizza margherita.”

“You never imagined with making a pizza how much goes into it from what you just typically get around here,” aid Garzzillo. “We’re here to treat you like our family.”

Come join the family. Just make sure you have a knife and fork handy.

“That is how you eat pizza believe it or not,” explained Garzzillo.

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