The Art of Pizza: Authentic coal-fired pizza debuts in Cary

 A family committed to carrying on tradition, a passion for fine food and a 900-degree coal-fired oven is all it takes to create an authentic pizza in three minutes flat. Don’t believe it? Visit Bella Mia in Cary and see for yourself (watch video here).

Owner Rick Guerra and his two sons recently opened Bella Mia after seeing the need for a pizzeria that stayed true to time-honored techniques rather than time-friendly ones.

“Bella Mia is an extension of how we cook at home, and we want our customers to experience true Italian generosity in a casual, friendly and lively atmosphere,” said Rick.

They use only the freshest ingredients including hand-made dough, flour imported from Italy and fresh mozzarella from Brooklyn to create a pizza rich in their Italian heritage. Along with the imported ingredients, they also support local farmers by using locally grown organic produce and naturally raised meats.

The ingredients are only one part of this tradition the family has brought to Cary. The other part comes from a commitment to learning the skills of Neapolitan pizza-making that have been used for more than 200 years. Sons Louis and Anthony were trained in traditional Neapolitan pizza-making under Robert Caporuscio, the American-chapter president of the Associazone Pizzaiuoli Napoletana.

“He is teaching us from a 200-year-old tradition. Why should we change it?” said Louis.

And change is one thing you won’t find on the menu. The specialty pies, each named after a street in New York City, are all made the Neapolitan way.

If you are still unsure how a pizza with a turnover rate of three minutes can be good enough to last centuries, there is only one solution, according to Rick: “Just try it.”

Bella Mia is open Monday–Sunday from 11 a.m. till late. A full bar is also available and reservations are not required. For more information, visit

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