Pizza News

Apizza di Napoli® Receives Official Certification for Offering Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

Apizza di Napoli, an authentic Italian pizzeria and wine bar located in the Centre South Shopping Center in Aiken, has been certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) Association, an Italian government designation that oversees the requirements of Neapolitan pizza making. This special certification recognizes those pizzerias that respect the culinary tradition of the Neapolitan pizza. Apizza di Napoli is the first and only restaurant in South Carolina to achieve this certification. Fewer than seventy-five restaurants have received this certification in the United States.

“We are incredibly proud of receiving this certification by the esteemed VPN Association,” said restaurant owner and pizza chef (pizzaiolo) Cliff Garzzillo. “Our goal is to create an authentic Italian experience for our patrons, and the VPN certification truly validates that what you eat at Apizza di Napoli is what you would find in Naples Italy. We want everyone in the Central Savannah River Area and South Carolina’s visitors to experience a little slice of Italy.”

In order to achieve this certification, pizzerias must prove they have met the strict guidelines and procedures set forth by the VPN Association and are able to produce an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Neapolitan pizzas must be cooked in a wood-burning oven and include only fresh, all- natural, non-processed ingredients. Pizza chefs must use proper techniques of kneading the pizza dough by hand or with a low speed mixer, and they must use a proper work surface, usually a marble slab. In addition, the final pizza cannot be larger than eleven inches in diameter, with a raised edge crust and thin center.

Restaurant owner Cliff Garzzillo and Pizzaiola Kirstyn Thomas both completed an intense three day, thirty hour training course with a VPN Master Pizzaiolo to receive their official Professional Pizzaiolo diplomas. Their pizza recipe, originally developed in Naples, Italy, has been passed on from generation to generation for hundreds of years.

Apizza di Napoli offers many other delicious and authentically Italian specialties and pastries.

About Apizza di Napoli:

Apizza di Napoli is owned by 30 year local residents and true Italians, Cliff & Wanda Garzzillo, who pay tribute to Italy and the food and wines that they love.

Apizza di Napoli welcomes guests to a small slice of Italy in the CSRA. Apizza di Napoli is proud to offer delicious and authentic Italian treats, including fresh organic pizzas from a wood burning brick oven and delightful sweets from master pastry chefs. To learn more about Apizza di Napoli, visit their website at