I've recently heard from a friend that the word "pizza" means "pie" in Italian. This sounds like an almost too obvious falsehood to me... But it seems to be corroborated by multiple sources online, including several online English dictionaries. But, I also found a couple of sources that state:

Contrary to what many believe, pizza does not mean pie in Italian. Pizza is its own thing and is its own dish, so you wouldn’t use pizza to describe an actual pie in Italy.

There are other words, such as torta or crostata, which are used to describe pies of sweet or savory filling – but pizza would never be used for these. The word pizza is used only to describe this one dish.

Additionally, any Italian-English dictionary I check, none of them give "pie" as a translation for "pizza"...

So what am I to believe? Does the word "pizza" in Italian actually mean "pie"?

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    Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Aug 16 '19 at 6:20
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    The entry "pizza" at Grande dizionario della lingua italiana, which is maybe the most complete dictionary of Italian language, doesn't give a definition corresponding to the English "pie".
    – Charo
    Aug 16 '19 at 6:50
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    Part of the problem is that there's no Italian word corresponding to the English meaning of pie (torta is more generic, and only covers the sweet pies, tortino only talks about small items etc.)
    – Denis Nardin
    Aug 16 '19 at 12:10
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    It's not that pizza means “pie”, of course. It's that there are some dishes which Italian speakers would call pizza and English speakers “pie”, but those are nota at all the main meaning of pizza. For a random example, see this “pizza di carciofi”, a kind of artichoke pie.
    – DaG
    Aug 16 '19 at 12:41
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    What is your question exactly? You say you already have multiple online sources; are you simply asking for one more? Or would you like to have only a more authoritative source? What kind of source, if it has to be more authoritative than a dictionary? Aug 18 '19 at 9:41

I can say quite confidently that the overwhelming majority of Italians would not find any correspondence between what is generally considered a pizza and what is generally conceived to be a pie.

That being said, there is some regional variability. Something that remotely resembles a pie is the so called "pizza ripiena" (or stuffed pizza). The latter, when cooked in a pan, can take the shape of what is commonly intended as pie. "Pizza ripiena" can also be done on a backing tray, and in this case it is more reminiscent of a flat sandwich. In the latter case it is simply "white" pizza which has been stuffed after being baked. Nothing resembling a pie.

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    Actually there are regionally dishes called pizza that do resemble pies (see my comment under the question).
    – DaG
    Aug 17 '19 at 15:35
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    I agree. My grandmother comes from the area around Caserta, and her "pizze" look pretty much like pie when she does them in a pan. I believe however that this is simply an omission of the word "ripiena".
    – Easymode44
    Aug 17 '19 at 16:01

I agree with what was said in the other answer and in comments, "pizza" and "pie" are different words in Italian, and it's also difficult to translate "pie", because the meaning may vary according to the context.

If you know a bit of Italian, I think you'll find interesting this speech by prof. Barbero, among other things he talks about the origin of the word "pizza":


In the Mediterranean area, people used to cook a baked focaccia bread with oil, which was called "pita". The Longobards tended to transform the "t" into "z", so the "pita" became the "pizza".

On the other hand, a famous song talks about a "pizza pie", so maybe for English-speaking people the pizza is a kind of pie:


When a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore

Anyway, the most important thing is "never put pineapple on it"!



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