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Le Cesarine

Half way between Apicio and Puglia

Roma / Lazio

La Cesarina

"When I was little, I would use my hands to help prepare the legumes and homemade pasta, and now, as an adult I help people as a doctor with them." Despite having a demanding professional life, Zaira does not abandon her passion for cooking, a true family tradition. Her grandmother, proud of her Roman origins, and the wife of a Latin professor who translated ancient Imperial recipes, used to escape the her repetitive cooking routine by preparing a variety of dishes. Now Zaira does the same in her own corner of paradise, a villa built in the 30s with an alluring garden and citrus grove.

Our Cesarina's home is located in the Città Giardino, a historic district of Rome, not far from the Aniene River. In the dining room and garden we find dinner tables set with antique wares that retain all their splendor and whisper secrets from the past. The perfect place to dive into the culinary history of the city through Zaira's marvellous cooking.

The secret of the Cesarina
My grandmother taught me how to prepare typical dishes from the Roman empire, ancient traditional traditional recipes. She showed me secrets from Mario Gavio Apicio’s ancient cookery book.


  • Spelt flour focaccia with anchovies
  • Rice, potato and clam casserole
  • Meat roulades in ragù sauce
  • Aubergine ‘alla parmigiana’
  • Ricotta tart

Refined selection of local wines


Zaira’s taste experience takes us on a journey into ancient history. To begin, we have a delicious dish that is popular in Rome, spelt flour focaccia with anchovies, which is an unusual but delightful pairing. Spelt was a staple grain in Roman times, and works wonderfully with fish. To finish off the antipasto, we have broad  beans, beaten into an aromatic cream as per a famous recipe by Apicio, a Roman gourmet form the 1st century BC.

In the first course, we have another chance to sample the flavours of ancient Rome. We have a tiella of rice, vongole (clams) and potatoes, a typical dish from Bari that Zaira serves to honour her Puglian roots. For the second course, she serves delicious roulades of meat called ‘brasciole’, in a rich ragù sauce, with a side of aubergine ‘alla parmigiana’. Slices of aubergine are fried and baked in a tray layered with mozzarella, tomato and Parmigiano cheese.

We finish off with an ricotta tart, which is an absolute treat. Fragrant pastry and delicately creamy ricotta make for a truly indulgent dessert.


  • Participate in dishes preparation

  • Vegetarian option

  • Pet-friendly home

Cesarina's Reviews

I recommend everyone to participate to the preparation of the dishes before the dinner.
My friends and I have finally learned how to cook a real italian dinner.
Location warm and Zaira very funny    

Laureen P. from Birmingham (Alabama, USA)

Published 20/01/2017


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