The quarter of Medieval Gaeta is steeped in history and rich in ancient monuments. During the Middle Ages Gaeta was a fortified settlement, and flourishing port which carried out trade with countries in the eastern Mediterranean. It was built on the rocky peninsular of Monte Orlando. Gaeta went on to evolve into an autonomous maritime Duchy ruled by Giovanni I of Gaeta and then the Docibile family for several generations. The young king of Naples, Ladislao di Durazzo took refuge at Gaeta and here in 1381 he married his young bride Costanza Chiaramonte. Indeed many of the street names of the medieval quarter reflect Gaeta’s eventful history.
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.