La Pizzetta strives for authenticity

Customer buys pizza at pizza shop
La Pizzetta is the newest addition to the Uptown business community. 

In her position as a business consultant for the Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, Lizeth Villa walked entrepreneurs through all the steps of launching a business, which included touring a lot of potential workplaces.

“I found places for my clients,” she said, but after a deal for the former Badamo’s Pizza on Washington Road didn’t materialize, “I thought, ‘I want this for me.’”

Villa and her husband, Luca Origoni, opened La Pizzetta, a pizza and pasta place at 656 Washington Road, in October. Origoni’s an engineer by trade, but born and raised along Lake Como in Italy, he has a passion for pizza. He is responsible for making the dough and the sauce for the restaurant.

“It’s his recipe and he’s very jealous about it,” Villa said with a smile.

La Pizzeta Pizza owners
Luca Origoni and Lizeth Villa are the owners of La Pizzetta on Washington Road.

The couple met when Villa, originally from Venezuela, was studying in Italy. They married and lived there until Origoni’s engineering firm transferred him to Pittsburgh 13 years ago. The two live in Peters Township.

“We want to bring people real Italian pizza,” said Villa.

She said they spent a lot of time with the owners of the building, Frank and Josephine Caruso, who, for people whose memories stretch back that far, owned and operated Caruso’s Pizza in that spot for decades.

“They were very friendly and gave us lots of good advice,” said Villa. “Luca really bonded with Frank.”

The menu is still evolving and expanding as Villa and Origoni get their feet on the ground.  “We want to see what people want.”

Hours—subject to change—are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.