Creating An Icon

The History of the Stromboli

Patriarch and founder, Nazzereno Romano, emigrated from Italy to the United States in 1923 and in 1935 he was baking and selling pizzas out of a wagon cart along Washington Street in South Philadelphia as a way to make money to support his family. Nat would make square pies with a cooked marinara sauce and no cheese. These pies became known as the "South Philly Tomato Pie".

Drawing from the modest 'success' selling pizza on the streets of South Philadelphia, Nat moved to Essington, PA and opened the Essington Pizzeria on December 1, 1944.

Nat didn't know it at the time, but his quaint little pizza shop would change his family's life for generations to come.

In the winter of 1949, Nazzereno created a new type of sandwich, filling his secret recipe dough with a variety of Italian meats, bell peppers and cheeses that he rolled into a log and baked. He began to produce and sell the as-yet-unnamed sandwiches in early 1950.

During this time, a local resident and regular customer, William Schoefield, asked Nat what he called this new sandwich. Nat admitted that he didn’t have a name for it and invited Mr. Schoefield to suggest one. This was 1950 and the press was full of the scandal involving Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini who had become romantically involved during the filming of the movie Stromboli. Influenced by the international scandal and publicity, Mr. Schoefield suggested the name Stromboli for Nat's new creation - and the name stuck!

Almost 70 years later, the Stromboli has become the generic term to describe an 'inside-out Italian sandwich; much like Coca-Cola has become the generic term for soda; and while thousands of pizza joints, take out restaurants and other eateries across the country, and the world, have tried to copy or imitate the Stromboli, there is only one original. Romano's iconic sandwich has been featured on The Travel Channel, The Today Show, and countless other television shows and in print around the world.

Today, Romano's Strombolis are still hand-made and baked in Nazzereno's Essington Restaurant by his Grandson, Pete, using Nat's original recipe.

Creating An Icon

The History of the Stromboli

Patriarch and founder, Nazzereno Romano, emigrated from Italy to the United States in 1923 and in 1935 he was baking and selling pizzas out of a wagon cart along Washington Street in South Philadelphia as a way to make money to support his family. Nat would make square pies with a cooked marinara sauce and no cheese. These pies became known as the "South Philly Tomato Pie".

Drawing from the modest 'success' selling pizza on the streets of South Philadelphia, Nat moved to Essington, PA and opened the Essington Pizzeria on December 1, 1944.

Nat didn't know it at the time, but his quaint little pizza shop would change his family's life for generations to come.

In the winter of 1949, Nazzereno created a new type of sandwich, filling his secret recipe dough with a variety of Italian meats, bell peppers and cheeses that he rolled into a log and baked. He began to produce and sell the as-yet-unnamed sandwiches in early 1950.

During this time, a local resident and regular customer, William Schoefield, asked Nat what he called this new sandwich. Nat admitted that he didn’t have a name for it and invited Mr. Schoefield to suggest one. This was 1950 and the press was full of the scandal involving Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini who had become romantically involved during the filming of the movie Stromboli. Influenced by the international scandal and publicity, Mr. Schoefield suggested the name Stromboli for Nat's new creation - and the name stuck!

Almost 70 years later, the Stromboli has become the generic term to describe an 'inside-out Italian sandwich; much like Coca-Cola has become the generic term for soda; and while thousands of pizza joints, take out restaurants and other eateries across the country, and the world, have tried to copy or imitate the Stromboli, there is only one original. Romano's iconic sandwich has been featured on The Travel Channel, The Today Show, and countless other television shows and in print around the world.

Today, Romano's Strombolis are still hand-made and baked in Nazzereno's Essington Restaurant by his Grandson, Pete, using Nat's original recipe.