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Marco Lentini hopes his take on a culinary college classic will be a big hit this week with the opening of Taglio at 37th and Spruce streets.

Lentini, a Wharton alum, opened Gia Pronto on the same block in 2005. He said he expects to have his newest creation, Taglio, fully operational early this week.

Taglio will offer authentic Italian pizzas and pastas “by the cut,” or by weight.

Taglio’s 14 different pizzas are cooked in rectangular iron pans — not like Italian pizzerias, but instead like Italian bakers do. Customers will specify how big of a slice they want, and an employee will cut the slice with scissors. The 2500-pound oven at Taglio comes straight from Italy, according to Lentini.

The trend of selling prepared foods by the pound is growing in popularity, he said, pointing out the vendors in Reading Terminal Market, who have done it for years.

The recently opened Sprinkles Frozen Yogurt shop on Chestnut Street also operates on the same principle.

Lentini is “betting” that his concept will appeal to students.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be more expensive than a slice at Allegro’s,” he said, adding that a meal would cost about the same as one at Gia Pronto.

However, Lentini is confident that patrons are willing to pay more for the “substantially more value and quality” that Taglio offers over the average pizza joint.

Curious diners trying Taglio this week will notice a drastic change in the appearance of the store, which used to house several different Aramark dining venues — most recently, Savory on Spruce.

“I wanted to do something complimentary to the product,” said Lentini, who accented the store with a natural oak floor and a long wood table.

He said he hopes the communal table will appeal to students and foster conversation between strangers as well.

Executive chef Anthony Marino said he has been perfecting his recipe for the pizza since December.

He and Lentini have worked on their dough recipe by taking a trip to Italy, talking to chefs and experimenting on their own, Lentini said.

Many of Taglio’s ingredients are authentic from Italy. The tomatoes are the only canned ingredient, coming from Naples.

Nick Watson, a College and Engineering sophomore, tried Taglio during its soft opening on Sunday night.

“I like the setup,” Watson said, referring to the unique pay-by-the-cut concept. “I do think the scissors are a little odd,” he commented.

Watson added that he was sad to see Savory go over the summer. Of the three types of pizza he tried during his first visit, Watson liked the Prosciutto e Uova, prosciutto and egg, pizza best.

But will he return to Taglio?

“I’ll come back,” Watson said. “I’ll have to work it into the budget.”

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