The streets of Leichhardt, best known as Sydney’s “Little Italy”,  were paved with pizza as Costa Cruises celebrated its 60th birthday by breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest pizza line.

The event saw Norton Street, the main street of Leichhardt, lined with Italian shops and restaurants, transformed into one long table lined with 826 freshly-cooked pizzas stretching 221 metres - equal to the length of Costa Classica, one of Costa’s 12-strong fleet of ships, which will be based in Asia starting from March 2009 with home ports in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Tinajin. Costa Cruises  is the only company in the world to operate cruises in China and Asia, a first for the global cruise industry as a whole. Its operations began in Summer 2006 with the Costa Allegra

Coinciding with the “Viva Leichhardt Festival”, included in the “Sydney Italian Festival” the Costa Cruises’ pizza extravaganza started in the early hours of the morning and finished at 1.00 pm (local time).

Twenty-five Sydney chefs headed the pizza-making challenge, which used more than 500 kilograms of flour, 250 litres of tomato sauce and 350 kilograms of mozzarella cheese. The freshly-cooked pizzas were carried by “Vespa” scooters and lined up on the huge pizza table arranged along Norton Street.

As soon as the Guinness World Record adjudicator deemed the record broken, the pizzas were collected by food rescue organisation, OzHarvest, for delivery to local charities to feed the homeless and disadvantaged. With Costa donating A$10 for every meter of pizza and hundreds of locals participating in the charity event, more than A$5000 was raised for “Variety club of Australia”, one of the main Australian children’s charity.

Costa Cruises President Gianni Onorato said, “This world record is an original and imaginative way of celebrating our 60th anniversary, and we’re pleased to have shared the moment with the local community.  Australia is an important market for our Company, and Costa is becoming increasingly popular here.  Our participation in this event is further confirmation of the fact that, like pizza, Costa Cruises is a symbol of “Italian made” excellence acknowledged worldwide, and we’re proud to have brought this record home to Italy.”

The previous world record for the longest line of pizza was set just 3 weeks ago at Fort Pierce in Florida by the American Scott Van Duzer and his team.

Leichhardt festivities on the day include street entertainment, children’s activities and the chance to go in the draw to win a Costa cruise for two through Asia worth A$10,000.

Italy’s Costa Cruises, Europe’s favorite cruise line, was the first international company to schedule regular cruises in China and Asia, a global first for the industry. The service commenced on July 2, 2006 with a ship flying the Italian flag; the ship in question is the Costa Allegra (28,500 gross tonnage and total Guest capacity of 1000), which underwent a 12 million euro refurbishment for her new deployment.  In view of the enormous popularity of this product, Costa Cruises has decided to double its capacity by positioning a second liner there from March 2009 – namely the Costa Classica (53,000 gross tonnage and total Guest capacity of 1680).  As a result, Costa will be able to offer about 55,000 additional berths with a total of over 60 cruises, thus bringing its overall capacity to 85,000 berths.