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Le Cesarine

From painting to cooking

Bologna / Emilia Romagna

La Cesarina

Mario Antonio hails from a small town in the province of Lecce, and now, after years of living and working in Bologna, it is safe to say that he is completely Bolognese. Our Cesarino initially gained experience in the kitchens of Reggio Emilia while studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, working in renowned restaurants in Bologna. Since childhood, he has always had a real love for cooking, and unlike his brothers, he was the only one willing to wake up at dawn to knead the bread dough with his grandmother.

Perhaps, due to the valuable culinary traditions that the family has passed down over the years, his love of art has given way to that for the kitchen. At his home in the center of Bologna, Mario has set up a kitchen of medieval flavor, with stone dishes and hand-carved clay bowls. His kitchen is rich in details, such as the magnificent collection of glasses, some very old, inherited from many restaurateur friends and family.

The secret of the Cesarina
As a child, I liked to get up at dawn to help my grandmother knead the bread dough


  • Carpaccio of zucchini (lemon, salt, pepper, parmesan and arugula)
  • Potato tortelli (with prosciutto, garlic, mint and parmesan)
  • Rose of Parma (veal, prosciutto and parmesan)
  • Fried vegetables and Bolognese cream
  • Salad from the garden
  • Pinza
  • Grape jello
  • Homemade Bread and bread sticks

Refined selection of local wines


In the center of Bologna, Cesarino Mario prepares the finest Bolognese cuisine for his guests. 

He begins by serving a summery appetizer, a carpaccio of zucchini with parmesan and roquette.

At this point, you might happen to notice the fresh scent of mint in the air - no, it's not your imagination! Mint is the star of our first course, potato tortelli pasta with a prosciutto filling, strictly prepared by hand and seasoned with garlic and parmesan cheese.

As a second course, the 'rose' of Parma, a long cut of veal with parmesan and prosciutto, accompanied by an classic local side dish, Bolognese-style fried vegetables, followed by a fresh salad from Mario's vegetable garden. Every dish is be accompanied by delicious bread and breadsticks homemade by our Cesarino.

Mario rounds off the Taste Experience in style with a heavenly dessert: Pinza and a taste of grape jello.


  • Participate in dishes preparation

  • Vegetarian option

  • Cesarina speaks English

  • Wheelchair-accessible

Cesarina's Reviews

 This was so interesting and unique, it was really reassuring to have an expert local to teach me the secrets of Bologna’s food! Not only was Mario Antonio funny and kind, he’s also a true chef and passed his passion for cooking onto all of us... even my fussy twelve year old! 

Lisa Black from Holly Springs, Mississippi

Published 08/03/2017


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