We were in Monreale, Sicily with time to spare. Ravenous after braving the cold winds during a walking tour, we settled at an alfresco restaurant that lures hordes of tourists with the irresistible aroma of hot tomato sauce and melting cheese.

The pizza margherita (which was their most popular choice) was a thin-crust one, with a golden brown glaze, and drenched in mozzarella cheese.

There was also a jar of shredded cheese on each table although it boggles the mind that anyone would need it. A sprinkle of authentic oregano seasoning made it a gourmet feast, in comparison to the pre-baked pizzas we call for in a hurry at home.

We wolfed it down as impatient, beady-eyed birds flocked around us and vacuumed up the crumbs.

By the end of our Euro-trip, we were were impressed with this minimalist masterpiece – and decided to forego the versions that were topped with zucchini, tomatoes or mushrooms. Between the crispy bases and the want of a doughy aftertaste, the Italians really do show the rest of the globe how it’s done.