A [pizza] is the universal welcome.
Do you know the original quote?
“A smile is the universal welcome”. Max Eastman
It is true that, unlike a word, a simple smile can be interpreted in any language as a welcome, or at least a positive attitude toward someone.
But smiles can be fake, they can be meaningless too. They can be a polite form to tell you fu** off.
After living in Italy for many years, I can tell you that “a pizza is the universal welcome”.
Why pizza? A beer or a glass of wine could also be a universal welcome but having a drink with someone is too easy and can easily be faked.
Even sharing a pasta, a product eaten in most countries, either by poor people as rich ones, is not as intense as sharing a pizza.
The beauty of pizza is not to eat it at the restaurant, it’s to make it at home.
Pizza has very basic ingredients and is pretty easy to make but requires patience.
You don’t make pizza from scratch for one or two people. It’s a meal that is meant to be shared. One make the dough and everyone else should bring a different ingredient. Everyone participate in the preparation. Someone make sugo (tomato sauce), someone cut mozzarella, another one can slice onions or wash dry fresh basil leaves. More cheeses and vegetables can be added as well as meat.
I’ve been invited to pizza parties and I organised some too. It’s truly the most convivial moment I can think of. You don’t even have to speak the same language and the fear of being accepted or to comunicate is replaced by the need to unite skills and help each others.
In Italy, I went to people’s place to make pizza before to speak Italian and I found out that, indeed, a pizza is the universal welcome, to me.