A short profile of 'Sora Anna' of San Cesareo. Anna Dente was born in 1943 in the small rural hamlet of San Cesareo near Zagarolo in the province of Rome, a rich agricultural zone.
Her mother and father ran a local butchers shop or 'norcineria' as well as a few hectares of land producing grain, fruit and grapes, while her grandfather worked as a young man in the slaughter house of Monte Compatri.
Her grandmother was a 'ciambellaia' or biscuit maker and introduced Anna to the the use of wild country herbs for use in bread, cakes and liqueurs.
From an early age she would also frequent the kitchen of her Aunt Ada's Osteria in Rome. Not surprisngly, a passion for traditional Rome dishes and cooking soon took hold of the young Anna.
The lifetime culinary experience of the family was consolidated in 1995 with the opening of a restaurant in San Cesareo with the emphasis on preserving the preparation of traditional dishes and, in particular, those originating from a zone between the Castelli Romani or Roman Hills and Prenestina.
The restaurant was named after an osteria in the town dating from Roman times 'Lavicanum Caesaris' when it was an important locanda along the Via Labicana connecting Rome to Capua and runnig through the land of Julius Caesar.
The restaurant soon gained national then international recognition; from Gambero Rosso, Il Corriere della Sera and L'Espresso in Italy, to Travel and Leisure & Italian Cooking and Living abroad.
Heinz Beck, three star Michelin Chef of La Pergola in Rome, even describes 'Sora Anna' as the 'Queen of Roman cooking'
Below we highlight 3 tours in the Castelli Romani of differing themes and duration which feature a cooking class and/or meal in her Osteria. Follow then links to know more.