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Le Cesarine

A celebration of flavour in the Lazio region

Formia / Lazio

La Cesarina

Formia is the pearl of the countryside of Tirreno, situated in the middle of the Gulf of Gaeta, and is a popular destination for Summer holidays. Ever since ancient times, this small town has attracted famous names such as Cicero, Nerva, Mamurra, Marziale and Horace. More recently, famous thinkers and writers such as Goethe and Stendhal have enjoyed the wonderful local wines, the scent of citrus fruits on the breeze, and its culinary heritage. “I am fascinated by my city and its history and poetry. It was my mother who taught me to love my local cuisine,” Mariella tells us.  Her curiosity has taken her on many journeys, but coming home is always a welcome pleasure, and every time she comes back to her hometown, it gives her a new chance to dedicate her time to her true passion: cooking.

Mariella welcomes us into her home, which in perfect harmony with the rich classical style of the residents of ancient times.  In this wonderful setting, she shows us her roots through various recipes clearly influenced by Neapolitan culinary traditions, which is a direct consequence of the Bourbon rule at the end of the 18th century.

The secret of the Cesarina
I learned how to pay attention to the seasonality of our garden produce from my mother, as well as from my local traditions throughout the year. I’ve always learnt how to adapt my ‘menu’ according to the time of year and local traditions.


  • Pizza di "case e ove" (cheese and egg)
  • Pan of maccheroni cheese
  • Slow-cooked "Murunale" beef
  • Sautéed endives with Gaeta olives and salted anchovies
  • Bite-sized buffalo mozzarella
  • Zeppole pastries from Aunt Cleofe's recipe

Refined selection of local wines


We begin this Taste Experience on the Tirreno coast with an authentic local starter; pizza cas’ e ove, which literally translates as ‘cheese and egg’, a focaccia bread made with a dough similar to pizza, filled with cheese, Monte San Biagio sausage and egg.

Next, Mariella serves a maccheroni pasta ‘wheel’ baked in the oven, with chunky tomato sauce, fiordilatte mozzarella, cooked ham, parmesan cheese and a hint of chili pepper. It’s an absolute delight.

For the second course, we have ‘stracotto alla Murunale’ which is marinated beef prepared in the ancient Formia style, which is then cooked in red wine. This delicious dish is accompanied by bite-sized pieces of buffalo mozzarella, and a side dish of sautéed chicory with Gaeta olives and salted anchovies.

To round off the Taste Experience, Mariella serves ‘zeppole’ from Zia Cleofe’s recipe, which are delicate fried cream puffs decorated with crème patissière and black cherries.


  • Participate in dishes preparation

  • Vegetarian option


Our customers says

"This was one our best experiences in Bologna. Our hosts, Gianni and Lorenza, were a well travelled and interesting couple about similar ages to ourselves. They also spoke perfect English, having lived in Canada for many years. Gianni taught us how to make tortellini from scratch which we ate with our meal. Gianni is a fine and the rest of the meal was excellent. Their place is an apartment in a medieval Palazzo which was well worth seeing on its own. We really enjoyed it."

J. Bliss

"Our dinner with Angela was the best experience of our visit to Rome. The food was delicious, and it was delightful to talk with Angela and her Mother about food, life in Rome, work, and the state of the world in general. This experience would have been impossible for us without Le Cesarine."

D. White

"We had a wonderfull lunch time with Tania (30 minutes outside from Bologna). She was an excellent host and very charming. We enjoyed her traditional courses (antipasti,strozzapretti con salsiccia, brasato al limone) very much and could highly recommend her. The atmosphere was very relaxed and it was easy to drive to her. We would come again."

J. Hüsser