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Beloved pizza is back in Naples after virus shutdown eases

Beloved pizza is back in Naples after virus shutdown eases

NAPLES: Wood is burning again in Naples pizza ovens, giving a symbolic and savory boost to Neapolitans after a two-month coronavirus lockdown meant an end to their most iconic and favorite food.

Pizzerias reopened on Monday night in the birthplace of pizza, albeit under restrictions and for home delivery only.

Whereas pizzerias in Rome and elsewhere were allowed to operate for take-out and delivery service, they were banned in Naples out of fears that such a congested, high-density city could fast become a new hot spot for Covid-19 infections.

The governor of the surrounding Campania region, Vincenzo De Luca, enforced strict lockdown measures, knowing that Campania’s hospitals couldn’t handle a major influx of sick. In the end, Campania had a relatively manageable outbreak of about 4,300 people infected, half of whom didn’t need to be hospitalised.

With Italy as whole gradually reopening, De Luca lifted bans on pizza deliveries as well as home deliveries from bars, pastry shops, ice-cream parlors and restaurants.

Surely this is a little restart for the entrepreneurs, important for us and for our region, our city and our nation, said Giovanni Pezzuto, owner of a Neapolitan pizzeria. This is a symbol of hope for the little firm that slowly can restart.

Its not a total reopening, however. Customers can only place orders by phone not in person and all business must close at 10 pm. The pizzerias have to be cleaned regularly and workers must wear gloves and masks.

Vincenzo Capuano, owner of pizzeria Capuano, said even the partial reopening will help Campanias economy because all his ingredients are sourced locally.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2020

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