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Three Days of Naples A Celebration of Culture, Cuisine and Creativity – Day 1 Savoring Naples: Neapolitan Pizza Masterclass and Tasting

Johnny di Francesco

Three Days of Naples: A Celebration of Culture, Cuisine and Creativity
14-16 May 2024


The Italian Cultural Institute of Sydney is proud to present a series of events celebrating Neapolitan culture. If we consider the cultural richness that the Naples has offered in the past and continues to offer, an entire season of programming would not be enough to give space to all the facets of such an iconic heritage. From the many possibilities, the Institute has chosen three events to showcase three long-established interpretations of the culture of Naples: gastronomy, music and classical art.



Savoring Naples: Neapolitan Pizza Masterclass and Tasting

An unforgettable event on Neapolitan pizza will be held on Tuesday 14 May, organized by IIC in collaboration with Marana Forni Australia. Acclaimed pizza chef Johnny di Francesco will lead a masterclass on the art of Neapolitan pizza-making at the Marana Forni showroom, 4/4 Jullian Cl, Banksmeadow, revealing the fundamentals of the perfect Neapolitan pizza, whose tradition is recognized as an intangible heritage by UNESCO and is celebrated for its flavors and the techniques that distinguish it.


Born in Australia to a Campanian father and Sicilian mother, Johnny Di Francesco developed his passion for pizza at a young age. At just 19, Di Francesco opened his first restaurant and later founded the successful Panic Pizza franchise in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. The real turning point came with the opening of the 400 Gradi pizzeria in Brunswick East, Melbourne, in 2008. Next, Di Francesco undertook a three-month research trip to Naples, acquiring the definitive know-how and being accredited by the Association True Neapolitan Pizza. In 2014, his talent was recognized on a global scale when he was crowned World Pizza Champion at the prestigious World Pizza Championship in Parma. This recognition brought him international fame, leading to the creation of more than a dozen venues around the world, from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley, from Adelaide to Dallas and even in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.


At the end of the 1980s Ferdinando Marana imagined revolutionizing the food industry by reducing waiting times for quality pizzas. After years of study, Marana Forni was born, presenting the world’s first rotary pizza oven. This innovation quickly gained international acclaim, establishing Marana Forni as an institution in nearly 100 countries. Since its inception in Verona from a partnership between Ferdinando Marana and Corrado Passilongo, Marana Forni Australia has proudly supported Italian craftsmanship and innovation in the Asia Pacific region since 2017.


Paid invitation-only event, limited seating: $15 admission

Booking HERE