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Le Cesarine

Formia, the pearl of Tirreno

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.


  • Marinated anchovies
  • 'Tielle di polpo', pie with octopus and vegetables
  • Spaghetti alla Formiana (seafood pasta)
  • Fried 'paranza' seafood
  • Fruit salad
  • Cream and black cherries sweet pizza

Refined selection of local wines


We begin this Taste Experience in the beautiful Formia with a starter of marinated anchovies and octopus stew, which are specialities of the coast of Lazio. This recipe was originally eaten as an entire meal by farmers and fishermen in the times of Bourbon rule, which was put in two circles of pastry filled with seasonal vegetables and fish, for a result that is delicious to say the least.

For the first course, our Cesarina opts for spaghetti alla Formiana, a simple tomato sauce with parsley, clams and shrimp. Next we have fried fruits de mer, which pulls together all the delicious flavours of the sea in just one plate.

We finish on a sweet note with a final classic of local cuisine; a cream and black cherry pizza, a sweet shortcrust pastry dessert with a velvety cream filling, that is paired with a fresh seasonal fruit salad.


  • 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