WHEN you think of where to go for authentic Italian pizza, your first thoughts may be Rome or Naples.

Beckenham Junction would come fairly down far on the list.

So I was intrigued to hear how Sapore Vero gained enthusiastic reviews from Twitter fans and bloggers after opening three months ago.

There was nothing for it –  I realised I would have to head down and grab a slice of the action myself.

Nestled in Beckenham High Street, the restaurant appeared fairly small and inconspicuous although walking past the stone oven gave me a happy feeling.

The waiters were authentically Italian and we sometimes found it hard to understand each other but in an enjoyable, lost-on-holiday way.

My friend and I chose the trio of bruschettas (£5) which had pâtés made from olives, artichokes and tomatoes nestling on the crusty bread.

All the pâtés were creamy and full of flavour but the artichoke one was especially delicious.

However when it came to the crunch, did the pizzas stand up to high praise or did they fold under the pressure?

I had the satellite-sized Quattro Formaggi Noci e Porcini  (£13.50)which featured mozzarella, pecorino, parmesan, gorgonzola with walnuts and porcini mushrooms.

The base - the result of slow rise dough – was rich while the cheeses were complemented perfectly by the mushrooms.

News Shopper: Restaurant review: Sapore Vero in Beckenham

My friend was equally enthusiastic about her Parma pizza (£13.50) – there were eye-boggling amounts of tomato, mozzarella, rocket, Parma ham and slivers of parmesan. In particular the ham’s flavour was delicate while also packed with flavour.

The pizzas went well with the house red, Chanti DOCG, (a bargain at £15) which was mellow and rich without being overpowering.

Although we were now bursting at the seams with pizza, it seemed churlish not to try desert.

The Tiramisu was sweet while the chocolate tart had a great texture and richness.

It is safe to say while we were delighted with the food, drink and service we also left distinctly barrel-shaped.

I am already itching to take more friends and show off this impressive slice of Italy in Beckenham.

Sapore Vero, 78 Beckenham High Street.

For more information, call 0208 658 0021 or visit saporevero.com