By: Natalie A. Correa
After returning from studying abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland, it has become a personal mission of mine to try every food Worcester has to offer before I graduate. How could I have crossed everything off my St. Andrews food “bucket list” but not that of Holy Cross? Though far from scratching everything off my list, I’ve become determined to make my way through Worcester to eat the best brunches, dinners, and pastries the city has to offer. My first stop: Shrewsbury Street. For college students looking for an affordable yet satisfying dining experience, check out Volturno Pizza.
Volturno Pizza is an Italian restaurant located at 72 Shrewsbury Street – just a six minute drive away from Holy Cross. Deemed “Best Pizza” by Worcester Magazine for three years straight, the restaurant is known for its Neapolitan-style pizzas and pasta dishes. In fact, it is certified by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, a non-profit organization in Naples, Italy whose mission “is to promote and protect in Italy and worldwide the ‘true Neapolitan pizza.’”
Volturno Pizza is the perfect location for a night off campus with its chic interior design and outside patio. When you walk in, you are greeted by a swanky bar and large wood-fired oven as well as hanging yellow-tinted lights that bring a sense of intimacy to the eatery at night. With welcoming and enthusiastic service, you are immediately invited to “close your eyes, breathe in, and taste.”
My roommate and I shared one “Volturno” and one “Norma” pizza. The “Volturno” consists of San Marzano Tomato Sauce, buffalo mozzarella, arugula, and prosciutto. As soon as it was placed on the table, my eyes were drawn to the helpful serving of prosciutto, which was topped with grated cheese. The “Norma” is a vegetarian pizza that comes with San Marzano Tomatoes, eggplant, mozzarella, ricotta, and basil. To be fair, I am not usually a fan of vegetable-based pizzas, but there was something about the texture of the eggplant combined with the savory taste of mozzarella and ricotta that made me think differently. The presentation of both pizzas was exquisite, both crowned with a generous amount of unique toppings that made each pizza-tasting experience pleasantly different.
What exactly is so unique about the Neapolitan pizza tradition? According to Volturno Pizza’s website, “the dough must be made with wheat flour, and the tomatoes used are grown at Mount Vesuvius. When making the pizza, the dough must be kneaded by hand or a low-speed mixer. Once risen, it can only be formed with a hand, not a rolling pin.” Though I only tried two of the pizza dishes, there is no question that they adhere to the Pizza Napoletana tradition: “formed by hand, light, charred, soft, airy with a delicate chew.”
The pizzeria offers a wide range of pizza options from its “Margherita Dop” to the “Capri,” as well as traditional in-house made pasta dishes such as lasagne and “Spaghetti All’ Arrabbiata.” Volturno Pizza also serves appetizing sandwiches at lunch, Monday-Saturday until 4 p.m.—I’ll definitely have to make time to eat their “Volturno” and meatball sandwiches. As for dessert, you can also enjoy a sweet Nutella Pizza or make your way next door to Sweet, a dessert bar known for their “Dosants” and award-winning cupcakes.
Long story short: make your way to Volturno Pizza for a night off campus and for an authentic Neapolitan pizza experience.