The inventor of the Neapolitan pizza, Raffaele Esposito, is certainly rolling in his grave after Rome debuted a new pizza vending machine.
The contraption, called "Mr. Go Pizza", offers four different kinds of pizzas ranging from 4.50 to 6 euros in price. The machine kneads and tops the dough; customers can observe their individual pizza cooking behind a small glass window. The whole process only takes three minutes.
Customers' reviews ranged from "acceptable if you're in a hurry" to blatant terror.
"Terrible. Pizza really needs to be eaten hot, immediately. This doesn't work for me," said a pensioner named Gina.
For many Italians, the classic pizza experience involves a "pizzaiolo", or pizzamaker, who kneads the dough and cooks it in a wood-burning stove within view of their table.
The "Mr. Go Pizza" machine is certainly facing some stiff competition. "I wouldn't even think of eating a pizza made by a machine," said Giovanni Campana, eating a pizza at a nearby restaurant called Napolitano.
A Naples native studying in Rome, Fabrizia Pugliese, gave the machine a stark thumbs-down, stating that it tasted more like "piadina" (a very thin, soft, unleavened bread wrap popular in northern Italy).
"It's okay, but it's not pizza," she said.