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New York City - The capital of Pizza! (Language level B1-C1)

Gennaio 2016
Non c’è pizzaiolo a New York (italiano, americano, di qualsiasi provenienza) che non conosca Scott Wiener. Questo ragazzo è una vera enciclopedia vivente sull’argomento, e ha fatto del suo cibo preferito una vera professione. I suoi pizza tour in giro per New York sono ormai famosissimi!

di Laura Giromini | vivereny.com

File audio:

clicca qui per andare alla relativa traccia audio (contrassegnata dalla scritta "speaker")


Enjoying Italian American whole pie pizza at Lombardi's
Enjoying Italian American whole pie pizza at Lombardi's
Scott Wiener at Joe's Pizza
Scott Wiener at Joe's Pizza

Scott Wiener may not sound like a very Italian name but for the past seven years he has been leading “Scott’s Pizza Tours” of New York. He has arranged over 2,000 tours enabling more than 34,000 people from all over the world (including Italy!) to enjoy the best that the Big Apple has to offer.

VIVA LA PIZZA!

Pizza is, of course, an Italian invention but, as Scott explains, it was brought to the “New World” by Italian immigrants. His tours don’t only teach you about pizza, they also teach you about the Italian- American experience.
The tours are both on foot and by minibus and Scott often changes the itinerary after asking the participants about their idea of pizza.  Scott himself admits to being mad about pizza. He eats at least 15 slices a week and deservedly has a place in Guinness World Records for owning “The world’s largest collection of pizza boxes” (595 when he was “certified” in 2013). Scott, who lives in Brooklyn, grew up in New Jersey where, he says, “I assumed all pizzas were delivered in boring white boxes with dull red printing on top.” In fact his pizza boxes come from all over the world and he has even written a book on the subject: Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box.

CELEBRITY

Not surprisingly, Scott’s Pizza Tours have attracted plenty of media attention. He has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on numerous TV networks. But there is a serious side to his work. He also runs a non-profit called “Slice Out Hunger” and every October (during “National Pizza Month”) he invites his 50 favourite pizzerias to send staff to an event where they sell slices for $1 each. This money is then donated to the local food bank.

Fore more information, visit www.scottspizzatours.com

INTERVIEW

new york’s finest

LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

Most people accept that pizza is an Italian invention, but there are those who claim that modern pizza was created by Italian-American immigrants in cities like Chicago and New York. That is a matter of debate, but pizza is massively popular in the United States. In New York a man called Scott Wiener even runs “Scott’s Pizza Tours.” We asked him why:

Scott Wiener (Standard American accent)

I started doing pizza tours in 2008 just because I was totally obsessed with pizza and I needed to find a way to make it work for my life and not be detrimental to my career, which at that time I was an engineer for television and for music, I was doing audio production for some TV shows and for a recording studio and I just didn’t love it, I didn’t have fun, but I love pizza and I kind of made a habit of taking my friends to famous pizzerias and teaching them about the different oven types, and, as we visited the different pizzerias, I would talk about what I was seeing and what we were eating and my friends loved it, so I started the pizza tour company as a way to share that with people I didn’t know.

FAST FOOD

And he believes that pizza and New York could be described as a marriage made in heaven:

Scott Wiener

Pizza and New York have become synonymous in a lot of ways. New York is this city where people are always on their feet and they’re always walking from place to place. New York is full of people who love to eat, but there are also people who walk everywhere, so pizza’s become the ultimate food for them because it’s something that can be sold easily, it can be sold by the slice, it’s transportable, you can eat it while you’re walking, you can pick it up, you don’t need a fork and knife, you don’t need to sit down, you don’t need anything to eat it, you just need the food itself: it’s its own plate, it’s its own utensil. And so New York and pizza have really become close. Pizza’s become the symbol of New York because of the way New Yorkers act, and they act like they’re in a rush all the time and pizza’s easy to eat when you’re in a rush.

The italians are coming!

And what sort of people go on Scott’s Pizza Tours?

Scott Wiener

I get tons of people from the United States and a lot from Australia, from England, from Scotland, from Germany. I even get a few Italians every once in a while, and it’s very special when we get Italians. It’s very rare to get Neapolitans, but we do get some and I think they’re usually surprised to know that I’ve been in Naples, that I’ve travelled around Southern Italy, further than Naples, everyone goes to Capri, everyone goes to the Amalfi coast, but I’ve been to Paestum and Caserta and have been to buffalo farms and I’ve done the research on the ground. So they’re always excited to hear that, but sometimes I think they’re a little disappointed that they won’t be able to have as much input on the tour and correct me as much as they might want!

let me tell you

But New Yorkers can also be difficult:

Scott Wiener

New Yorkers always think that they know everything about pizza because it’s so popular here and they figure if they’ve been eating it for 40 years, then they must know what they’re talking about but, really, they’ve been eating at the same three places, and they’re not really that good, so when they say “Oh, this place is, hands down, the best I’ve ever had” that may be true, but maybe they just haven’t had that Slice Out the Hunger much!


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Explains

A marriage made in heaven. Un matrimonio perfetto. È un modo di dire comune, e significa che la coppia era predestinata a stare insieme ancora prima di nascere. Ovviamente si può applicare metaforicamente anche a cose/luoghi, come in questo caso.

Hands down. Facilmente, senza dubbio. Questa frase, che significa letteralmente “con le mani giù”, deriva dal mondo ippico. Se un fantino stava chiaramente vincendo una corsa, allora poteva permettersi di rilassarsi, abbassando le mani.