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haidons7 04-14-2005 05:45 AM

Hi All!

I've been dying to build a pizza oven in my garden for a long time now and was thoroughly delighted to find this online community of oven enthusiasts! Though i'm english, I spent 7 years growing up in italy and have always had a deep routed yearning for that beautiful pizza taste that i've only ever experienced in italy!

Maybe i'm just being incompetant here, but i cant seem to find the 'open source' plans for the Pompeii oven so frequently talked about on the site.

Can anyone please point me in the direction of these plans as i'm very keen to start planning my own oven! (ps. has anyone tried an oval oven)

Thanks for trauling through my ramblings! Hope someone can help!


james 04-14-2005 07:14 AM

Hi Aiden,

With apologies to Alf and my wife for the bad joke (both of whom are English) -- is it possible for someone English to build an Italian pizza oven? :-) Poor humor aside, click on the Pompeii Oven link on the left side of the page. There is a series of pages that describe the construction process, materials, background, etc. There are photos, tables and descriptions.

Take a look and ask lots of questions.


haidons7 04-14-2005 07:44 AM

Being English Sucks!
Cheers James!

How does cement stand up to the high teperatures in a pizza oven?
I was thinking of trying something along the lines of quite a thick polished cement oven floor rather than bricks, though im sure you'er gonna give me lots of reasons why not!

My family have a house in italy with quite a large oven on the side of the house made of stone rather than brick, is amazing really, so beautiful inside. One of the old guys in our village used to be an oven builder, and apparently they used to build the oven walls from inside and judging by the hunch in his back i can certainly beleive it!

I'd best start planning!

I'll be sure to trouble you with many more inquiries!


james 04-14-2005 07:54 AM

Ciao Aidan,

The cement never really sees the heat. In both the dome and floor, the bricks are flush to each other. You really do want brick (or a refractory material) on the floor (sorry!). The porous material does a good job of absorbing and storing heat, and when you put dough (pizza or bread) on the floor, the brick or stone extracts moisture and creates steam that gives pizza and bread their crust. Finally, the porous material keeps the oven moist, allowing you to cook at higher temperatures without drying out food.

Pizza Napoletana cooks in 60-90 seconds at 900F.

Where is your house? There are bunch of stone ovens in Tuscany -- both the dome and floor. We had one at our first rental. I have been told that there simply less expensive to make and still cook great. Some friends have an old Contadini house outside Arrezzo with a stone floor and brick dome.

Have fun planning. You are on the right track.


haidons7 04-14-2005 08:17 AM


Our house is in a little village called Pian Di San Martino which is just under a very beautiful town called Todi in Umbria. I feel so lucky to have grown up there, i went to school in the village so i have lots of friends in the village and i go back whenever i can.

What is your connection to Italy?

james 04-14-2005 08:23 AM


Todi is beautiful. We started in Sarteano and went to Umbria exploring a few times. Not to bore anyone with details, we've been in Tuscany for two years kicking off Forno Bravo. Our daughters are in the Int'l school in Florence. We're back in NorCal in the late summer.

Are you in the UK now?

haidons7 04-14-2005 08:37 AM

Yeah unfortunately!

I'm studying Acoustic Engineering at Southampton University. Is not the most beautiful city in the world but the people are nice!

My real goal in life is to rennovate old houses in italy, so just need the inital capital, hence the degree! I've done quite a bit of work on the house in Todi and i really think i've found my dream job!

I think what you're doing with this FornoBravo thing is brilliant, i dont know what the state of affairs is is like in America but England really doesn't have a clue about food, not just the food itself but the whole role it plays in everyday life.

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