In the kitchen with Mamma Piera | Stuffed Genoese Cima Meat

In the kitchen with Mamma Piera | Stuffed Genoese Cima Meat

Preparation 45 min

Cooking time 2h and 20 min

Portions 6

Total Time 3h and 5 min

Calories 425


  • 1 breast pocket of veal, about 900 g
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 bay leaves. For the stuffing: 200 g minced veal
  • 200 g sweetbreads
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 200 g chard
  • 3 tablespoons peas
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 50 g of lard
  • 40 g of Grana Padano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped marjoram
  • milk
  • salt


Prepare the filling: boil the chard in salted water, squeeze and chop it. Blanch sweetbreads for a few minutes in lightly salted water, drain and dice them. Mince the lard. Let the breadcrumbs soften in a bowl of milk and squeeze them out.


Gather everything in a large bowl, add the eggs and grated Parmesan cheese, minced veal, pine nuts, peas, marjoram, salt and pepper and carefully mix the mixture. With this stuff the veal pocket, sew the opening with white kitchen thread and tie the meat like a roast. Soak it in 3 liters of cold water along with the onion, carrot and bay leaves, place on the stove and cook, letting it simmer for a good 2 hours.


Drain the meat, place it between two plates, place a weight on top so that it has the typical flattened shape, and let it cool.

The top 5 aperitif bars in Imperia

The top 5 aperitif bars in Imperia

Apericena, aperifritto, aperipizza… in short, the art of the aperitivo is now a typically Italian must! In Italy, the expression ‘taking an aperitif’ no longer means just enjoying a good drink, but doing so while munching on something (free of charge) such as scones, pizzettine, pancakes, mini-portions of salad, in short, more generally finger food.  And not the usual nuts and chips, for goodness sake, don’t deny us a bit of healthy spilucching (spiluccare: to munch on smth). After all, a worldwide famous italian singer, Al Bano, says it himself: ‘a glass of wine, with a sandwich… happiness!’

But thinking about it, the aperitif is a good tool to discover the food and wine traditions of any city in a short time, to understand its customs and fashions, to get a different cultural point of view, isn’t it?  Or are you maybe thinking this is our usual excuse to have a good drink?

I swear not, it is just the right occasion to discover the 5 bars for an aperitif in Imperia!

1. A Cuvea du Baffu

OK, let’s start with the most popular. Federico, known as Baffo (mustache) has managed to give immense lustre to this bar, not even that small, in a super strategic position in Imperia. The bar is just the right amount of rustic, with a touch of modernity.  Good variety of wines and cocktails, small plates served at the table that will make you stop thinking about dinner, friendliness and efficiency. Totally adequate prices.

2. Madamadorè

Next to Cuvea du Baffu we find what, for my generation, is a true institution. Undoubtedly the previous management brought the bar to the peak of its success thanks to its baked goods, including the very famous Madamadorè pizza, which we have already told you about here.

The drinks proposal is quite basic, but what is surprising is the ‘companatico’ (food): a very rich mix of all the various pizzas and focaccias they produce that, believe me, you will find hard to forget! Excellent value for money.

3. Taste of Surf

Surf is new on the Imperia scene, but it won everyone over immediately. A real breath of fresh air, a new perspective with which to frame the aperitif in our town, but with careful study behind every preparation.

Tradition and innovation coming together, in short. “A cuisine that looks to the future, without forgetting its origins.”  The cocktails, accompanied by tasty tapas that you can order à la carte, will amaze you with their balance, originality and refinement. Slightly higher than average prices.

4. Monkeys

We raise the bar in terms of location (just look outside) and product offering (just look inside).

A tiny bar on the promenade of the old port of Oneglia hides a treasure trove of more than a thousand different bottles, all displayed behind the bar. Dark but chill atmosphere. Their small plate of appetisers, Antonella knows, will not score them many points in this classification, while their first place as a drink selection is indisputable. Slightly higher than average prices.

5. Bistrot Isnardi

The youngest on the list, the Isnardi bistro is finally the right bar that a beautiful square like San Giovanni needed!

Top aperitifs in a slightly more chic ambience than the previously mentioned. Food is delicious and various. One glass won’t be enough to leave you happy, just know that, but quality does not go hand in hand with quantity. Prices a little higher than the city average.

The paella and Saracen mussels festival: two events not to be missed in Borgomaro!

The paella and Saracen mussels festival: two events not to be missed in Borgomaro!

“No! Had we known, we would have stayed an extra weekend!” and “Phew! We would have arrived a day earlier if we had known!” are exactly the two phrases most often repeated by our customers when they discover they have just missed the Borgomaro festivals, the traditional and immortal ritual that enlivens the summer evenings of our Impero Valley and beyond.

In fact, you should know that the sagra originates as a typical festival for the patron saint of a village, during which other activities such as fairs, dances, and various entertainments can also take place. This is a type of celebration that here in Liguria, especially in the hinterland, is still synonymous with fun, revelry and goliardy, even among the youngest.

In fact, the term ‘sagra‘ is no longer used only to define the celebration of the patron saint, but the extension of the term generally encompasses a large village party accompanied by good food, wine and lots of music. Normally, all this is made possible by the collaboration of the municipal administration and the local Pro Loco, in this case the U Castello association, which for decades now has succeeded in the magical feat of bringing us all together to give us these magical evenings. Suffice it to say that my parents took their first steps, first words and first dances together on the smooth, festively decorated slate squares where young people of their age used to meet in the evenings for dancing and chatting… not movida and discos!

Generally speaking, each town proposes an annual event in the summer (normally on Saturdays, but possibly also an entire weekend) where during dinner a typical dish is served, among the many culinary proposals, which will then give its name to the evening (e.g.: the festival of fried bread). We, in Borgomaro, propose two dates… because we know how to cook so well that we didn’t want you to miss anything! Would you like to know what the specialities are?

I can see you scratching your tummies with your mouths watering!

First of all, these are dinners en plein air: long wooden benches, large tables, farmer’s wine (as Elena likes to call it) and off to crowd the carruggi. Very good, very spartan, but that’s how we like it!

The ticket office opens at 19:00/19:30 and the plan is based on a single rule: grab the first seats! Don’t delay, scramble through the crowd as if that plate of kebabs was the last one left on the face of the earth. Once you’ve got your tickets at the till, if you are lucky enough to have a partner by your side, send him or her straight to the queue for the evening’s main course, or that steaming juicy portion of fresh pasta will alas remain just a memory.

In the meantime it’s time to take care of the liquids: look for the BAR till and stock up on what you need, then it’s time to find a vacant spot where you can settle in to wait for the glorious return of your partner holding the tray of delicacies.

All right, all right, you want to know what we eat and especially when we eat. Here are the dates, I’ll see you there and whoever doesn’t come is a belinone!

Last weekend in May: her majesty the reina paella (remember what I told you about scoffing like it was the last dish in the world? Here, keep that in mind)

Early or mid-July weekend: take note, you will have the opportunity to taste President Mino’s inimitable Saracen mussels, which for years now have been making people flock to our square from all over. A word of advice? Pick up some bread and don’t forget to make the very Italian scarpetta in the cooking sauce!

And for those who don’t like any of these three dishes? Fear not: rabbit Ligurian style, the famous minestrone, ratatuia, condiglione, gorgonzola and quintals of grilled meat await you!

Go Local! | The best ice cream in Imperia

Go Local! | The best ice cream in Imperia

When summer arrives and the temperature rises, what could be better than a nice fresh ice cream? Away with the five best ice cream parlours in Imperia, in our opinion!
P.s.: the order is scattered, my friends from Imperia do not swear!

1. The Historical: Gelateria Pinotto
Via Scarincio, 98 – 18100 Imperia
The perennial crowd outside this ice-cream parlour may discourage you… or it may give you the assurance of the goodness of its ice cream! Pinotto is an institution among the master ice-cream makers of Porto Maurizio and therefore a must for ice-cream lovers.

2. The Ligurian: Gelateria Sharbè – da Gaetanina
Via de Geneys, 3 – 18100 Imperia
No sign outside, little fuss inside: Gaetanina and her husband are Ligurian DOC and it is immediately noticeable. Fresh ingredients from the hinterland, an impeccable dedication to fruit flavours that are offered in truly unique and high quality dressings, free cream… but be careful: enter by the entrance and leave by the exit, never the other way round… or you’ll get into trouble!


3. La Novella: I Gelati di Fè
Via Ludovico Maresca, 14 – 18100 Imperia
We in Imperia would call it, in a word, gozzo (big adj. fig. excellent)
I Gelateria di Fè is the most recent in our city in terms of date of birth, but it has already managed to build up its clientele thanks to its extremely creamy, I would say, with a neologism pannosi in short… real meals!

4. L’Incantatrice: Gelateria Acquolina
Via Scarincio, 84 – 18100 Imperia
I have a friend who, heaven forbid, had to stop here after the sea because of his addiction to Acquolina ice cream! I swear! It was like a fixed appointment that you could not escape, and I remember as if it was yesterday that when ‘American peanuts’ appeared on the list of flavours (always displayed outside this micro-gelateria), it was always a party! Acquolina’s ice cream has this effect on so many people in Imperia… try it to believe it!


5. The Gourmet: Gelateria Corte

Largo Sergio Sabatini, 3 – 18100 Imperia
I warn you, lovers of classic-style ice cream might turn up their noses a little. In fact, the Gelateria Corte does not serve the usual flavours, but rather somewhat sophisticated proposals that cannot be found elsewhere. Forget the usual names and ingredients: if you are looking for something different, throw yourself into the choice of a slightly more daring combination!


P.s.: if you are outside Imperia, we recommend two unrivalled ice-cream shop:
to the west: Gelateria Artigianale – Lungo Mare CAP. D’Albertis, 13 – 18010 Santo Stefano al Mare
to the east: Il Negozietto del Gelato – Via della Resistenza, 15/17 – 18016 San Bartolomeo al Mare

Mamma Piera recipe for the Ligurian-style rabbit

Mamma Piera recipe for the Ligurian-style rabbit

It was tough but we managed to steal the recipe from Piera’s cookbook. To start savouring the flavours of Liguria, why not not to start with one of the most typical dishes of our tradition?


  • 1 rabbit (about 1.5 kg)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 100 g olives
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 gr pine nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper


Preparation of rabbit Ligurian style


To prepare the Ligurian style rabbit cut the rabbit into pieces. In a saucepan put a little oil and start to brown the sliced onion together with the chopped garlic.  As soon as the garlic and onion are wilted, add the rabbit together with the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Season lightly with salt and brown over a high heat so that all the meat is well sealed for a few minutes. Deglaze the rabbit stew Ligurian style with the wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Meanwhile, finely chop the rosemary leaves. When the alcohol has evaporated, add the olives, pine nuts, chopped rosemaryground pepper, stir and cook the rabbit Ligurian style on a low heat, covered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally and adding salt to taste towards the end of cooking.
The rabbit stew Ligurian style will be ready when the meat separates easily from the bone. It is excellent accompanied by potatoes

Pearls of Liguria: delicacies from the Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps

Pearls of Liguria: delicacies from the Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps

All of us at the Relais del Maro have a passion in common, which perhaps many of you have noticed: good eating and drinking!
But that’s not all. We especially like to discover those products hidden in the centuries-old traditions of our valleys. During our research, the Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps was among the first we explored; its area stretches between the Arroscia Valley and the Argentina Valley, both rich in unique products.

Among these, the king is undoubtedly the Vessalico Garlic: a Slow Food presidium for its unique characteristics such as its delicate aroma, an intense almost spicy flavour and, above all, its extreme shelf life: when my grandfather brings me some, I can keep it in the fridge and use it for months! (Did you know that… the first weekend of July there is the Garlic Festival in Vessalico – 15 minutes from Relais del Maro)

Another product not to be missed is Brigasca sheep’s milk toma cheese, a Slow Food presidium in this area: its production has been linked to this territory for hundreds of years and its unique processing characteristics give it a strong flavour.

If the first two products are perhaps better known, you have to be a little more local to get to know Carpasina: it is a barley bread typical of Carpasio (a small village in the Arroscia Valley half an hour from Relais del Maro), similar to the more famous Apulian frisella. A bread as hard as stone, ‘pan d’ordiu‘, barley bread, indeed, stone-ground.
It is eaten in the fields, in the mountains, with a head of garlic (strictly from Vessalico) rubbed in before being soaked in spring water mixed with red wine vinegar. Then it is crumbled and mixed with tomato, anchovy, capers, onion, basil… a sort of pan bagnà from the Ligurian Alps.

And these are just some of the products we offer at the Relais, where the watchword is always: GO LOCAL!