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.