Like high school boys pulling a prank, the men of Pizzeria Don Ernesto in Naples, Italy, were all giggles and high-fives as one of them climbed over a roadway barrier to bring Pope Francis’s passing motorcade to a halt.
“Papa! Papa!” called pizzeria owner Enzo Cacialli as the tricked-out, white Popemobile slowed.
Cacialli handed the pontiff a personalized white pie with “Il Papa” spelled out in dough.
Co-owner Roberto Discardi told ABC News that the pope gladly accepted the snack made with yellow cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.
This embed is invalid
“He said, ‘Thank you.’ And, how can I say in English … ‘I’ll have it later,’ ” Discardi said.
It wasn’t quite the anonymous night out for pizza that Francis recently said he missed of his pre-Vatican life: “The one thing that I would like is to go — without anyone recognizing me — and go to a pizzeria to eat pizza.”
And if you thought the famed pizza makers of Napoli were enthusiastic, check out the reception Francis received from cloistered nuns, who traditionally see visitors only through a partition.
“They are going to eat him!” one Cardinal was overheard exclaiming as the nuns presented Francis with a gift inside the Duomo.
“And these are the cloistered ones,” quipped Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe. “Just imagine the non-cloistered ones!”
—Sandra Sobieraj Westfall @sswestfall