Neapolitan Pizza Twirling Granted UNESCO 'Heritage' Status

The dough-twirling art of the Neapolitan pizzaiuolo — or "pizza-maker" — has secured a spot on UNESCO's list of intangible heritage. The craft — which has been passed down through generations in Naples, Italy — was approved by the Paris-based organization in Jeju, South Korea, alongside 32 other new items. Nearly 2 million people signed a petition in favor of Naples' application, and when it was ratified, the city celebrated by handing out free pizza to passersby in the streets.

"How perfect to celebrate with pizza for breakfast," Marco Toeldo told The Guardian while eating his third slice. "The word pizza must be the most famous in the world, in every language, and now everyone knows we invented it!"

"Victory!" tweeted Maurizio Martina, Italy's minister for agriculture. "Italian food and wine identity increasingly protected worldwide!"

Back in the states, Rosario Procino was celebrating too. The Naples native owns Ribalta Pizzeria — the only parlor in New York recognized by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana for having "true Neapolitan pizza," NBC New York reports. A proud Procino honored the good news by giving away free slices outside his store at 12th Street and Broadway from 2 to 3 p.m. on December 14.

For more from the boot-shaped land of pizza and pasta, here are 14 things you need to know about ordering and drinking coffee in Italy.