The world is in amore with pizza pie, and now recognizes that preparing it is an art form.
Unesco, the United Nation’s cultural arm, announced Thursday that the “pizzaiuolo” tradition of pizza making in the Italian city of Naples is part of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”
PIzzaiuolo follows a series of steps including twirling to create the perfect dough, and the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani says that the practice has roots as far back as the 1700s.
“We’ll be giving out free pizza in the streets,” Sergio Miccu, head of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli, told the Agence France Presse after the UN decision, which highlighted the history of passing down the art through generations.
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It was unclear how much pizza was involved in the celebratory giveaway.
More than 2 million people had signed a petition asking for the Italian art to be recognized on the global stage, though many of them were likely more familiar with Bagel Bites than the intricate Neapolitan process.
A Unesco committee meeting on Thursday in South Korea approved the culinary kudos, which were greeted by Italy’s Minister for Agriculture Maurizio Marinta with a declaration of “Victory!”
Pizza makers in Naples had gathered on Wednesday, ahead of the decision, for a preemptive celebration where they said that it was due after 250 years of perfecting the art.
The first pizzas appeared in the Mediterranean city around 1750, with Lombardi in Manhattan’s Little Italy laying claim to bringing it to the U.S. by opening a pizzeria in 1905.
Naples’ most popular export was not the only tradition recognized Thursday by the UN, which includes more than 400 traditions from around the world.
Other honorees included the German organ craftsmanship, Dutch windmills, Saudi Jeju wall paintings and Kyrgyzstan’s horseback game of Kok Boru, traditionally played with a dead goat.
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