Tomorrow, British brothers Thom and James Elliot are setting off on a month-long culinary quest to serve fresh pizzas as they drive their Piaggio Ape throughout Italy. The brothers, who dubbed themselves the Pizza Pilgrims, purchased the three-wheeled vehicle outfitted with a custom pizza oven, and will fly from the United Kingdom to the far reaches of southern Italy to retrieve it.
Then, they’ll drive the length of Italy at a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour, stopping to gather fresh Italian ingredients for their traditional pizzas, which they will prepare in the back of their van.
“We’re going to find the best tomatoes, the best cheese; all the best ingredients,” said Thom, the elder Elliot. According to James, the brothers’ love of food is hereditary. “Our parents have always managed pubs, so the foodie vibe has been instilled in us from a very young age,” he said.
Their journey will send them 2,000 miles across little-traveled areas in Italy, into Europe and finally back to their home in the U.K., where they will continue preparing Italian-style pizzas from their van in an effort to create a start-up street food business.
A television crew will be following Thom and James on their journey, filming a series scheduled to air in early 2012. The brothers are also utilizing social media, including Facebook, Twitter and video blog posts, to engage fans in their month-long pilgrimage. — Elaine Murphy