il Canale Accepted into Ranks of Top Pizza Making Authority in Italy

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Executive Chef Antonio Biglietto (left) and il Canale owner Joe Farruggio make pizza
Executive Chef Antonio Biglietto (left) and il Canale owner Joe Farruggio make pizza

For its pizza-making prowess, il Canale in Georgetown has been awarded membership in the prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, headquartered in Naples, Italy.

Il Canale, at 1063 31st Street NW near the C&O Canal, is owned by Sicilian-born Giuseppe “Joe” Farruggio. It opened in 2009.  The executive chef is Antonio Biglietto (from Naples) and the general manager is another native Italian, Vittorio Rosso.  Il Canale won the privilege of being the first restaurant in 2012 to be accepted into membership.

“Il Canale’s thin-crust pizzas are made with ingredients imported from Italy, including the bufala mozzarella, tomato sauce and flour," said Farruggio. “Our dough is made fresh daily right on the premises. Our pizza Napoletena is the best.”

il Canale pizza ready to be served (Photo by: Il Canale ) il Canale pizza ready to be served

Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN Association), which has been established by the Italian government as the controlling body when it comes to determining true Neapolitan pizzas, has strict rules that govern the ingredients, preparation, and manner of cooking.  According to its website, the VPN Association is ”the only non-profit association that safeguards and promotes the culture of the real Neapolitan pizza worldwide.”  

Its register of members “was created to protect and to professionalize the pizza makers in Italy and abroad that will undertake to make the Vera Pizza Napoletana (true Neapolitan pizza), according to tradition, thus ensuring the quality of the production process and products use,” said the association website. Il Canale is the only restaurant in Georgetown to receive the certification.

“We are elated to be accepted by the VPN Association,” said Rosso, il Canale’s general manager. ”We see a lot of Italians who now live or work here or are tourists who come in because they like to get a taste of real Italian pizza.”

Il Canale has a wood-fired pizza oven shipped from Naples and an Italian dough-making machine, all in compliance with the association’s standards. Adding to its Italian connection is the TV at the bar that shows European football games, Italian music and banners touting Italian heritage.

Logo to be shown on il Canale's window and menus (Photo by: Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana logo) Logo to be shown on il Canale's window and menus

Il Canale’s menu also features other Italian foods, such as pasta, soups, meats and fish dishes.


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Of course, Mr. Feruggio has a right to be proud of the designation. It would be interesting to know how the typical American pizza eater reacts to this genuine pizza, and how he/she thinks it compares with American-style pizza.