From Rome to Tel Aviv: The ‘Two Crazy People’ Behind GaliRoma Boutique Pizza
After “falling in love with pizza” at Pizzeria Italia in Piaza Fiume, during a trip to Rome in 2003, Avi and Gali Amsili dreamt of having their own pizza place.
But it wasn’t until 2015, when the married couple was sitting at a café, unhappy with their lives, and Avi asked Gali, “Are we going to give up on our dream?”
Gali and Avi dug up the business card of Pizzeria Italia, and asked Marco, the head chef, if they could return to Rome “to talk business.”
They booked a flight to Rome for three days and had dinner with Marco. Gali says the conversation was “lots of drawings and lots of Google Translate” because their Italian and his English were equally bad.
Upon receiving permission from Marco’s father, the couple returned to Rome, each one separately, so the other could watch their two children in Israel.
For three months each, and with barely any knowledge of Italian, Gali and Avi lived in Italy’s capital, to study under Marco and his team.
In 2016, Gali and Avi opened GaliRoma Boutique Pizza in Ramat Hasharon, a suburb of Tel Aviv, and flew Marco and his family in from Rome for additional help.
Marco was only supposed to be here for a week, but after enjoying his first visit to Israel so much, he decided to stay for a month.
The next year, Marco invited Avi to participate in the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza, a world pizza championship held in Parma, Italy — the capital of Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. The competition featured some 1,200 participants from 40+ countries.
Using beetroot to enhance his pizza’s color and fresh mint for smell and taste, Avi placed 39th and became the first Israeli to participate in the event.
In 2019, Gali and Avi closed the doors of their Ramat Hasharon location to open GaliRoma in the heart of Tel Aviv, on Dizengoff Street.
Their goal is to establish a number of franchise locations in Tel Aviv, throughout Israel, and even abroad, based on “amazing, uncompromisable ingredients” — notably the dough, or what Gali calls “the magic.”
It undergoes a long levitation of 72 hours, and the flour is imported from Italy.
“We’re two crazy people who followed our dream,” Gali says. “At least it’s a good lesson for our children.”