What’s the Difference Between Buffalo Mozzarella & Fiordilatte Mozzarella? If you’ve got a spare day to spend on a drive outside of Rome, we can help you discover the “Two Mozzarellas of the Agro Pontino area”.

About this edible journey: On this edible journey we’ll be taking you out of Rome to the Agro Pontino area to meet a few of our favourite ‘caseificio’ – cheese factories – so you can learn how Mozzarella’s made from the pros and taste if fresh from the dairy!

Duration: 1 full day plus nice long lunch

Driving Difficulty: Easy. Minimal/no white roads or hill climbs

About the area: Little over 1 hour’s drive South from Rome, the Agro Pontino is a strip of flat yet immensely fertile land, squeezed between the sea and the rugged Lepini Mountains near the sleepy town of Latina. The area was an inhospitable marshland until the 1920’s when Mussolini had the marshes drained and waters channelled to create a rich and fertile farmland. Today the Agro Pontino is Rome’s ‘fruit & veg’ basket, producing 1/3of Italy’s kiwis, artichokes, table grapes, tomatoes and salad. It’s also home to two of Italy’s best-loved cheeses: the Buffalo Mozzarella and Fiordilatte (Mozzarella made with cow’s milk). You can find out more about Mozzarella making in the Agro Pontino here (link).

Summary of the Agro Pontina Mozzarella Travel Guide:

1. Getting to the Agro Pontino from Rome
2. Stop #1: Roana – The Buffalo Mozzarella specialists
3. Getting from Roana to La Lupa: Zig-zagging in the valley

4. Stop #2: La Lupa – Fiordilatte Mozzarella
5. Lunch Suggestions

6. Digestion Suggestions and finding your way back to Rome

 

1. Getting to the Agro Pontino from Rome (1.5hrs) – DIRECTIONS

  • Take the E45/A1 ‘Autostrada del Sole’ motorway towards Naples.
  • 6o km south from Rome, exit at Frosinone.
  • After leaving the tollbooth, follow the fork in the road to the right towards Ceccano, Priverno, Sezze, Grotte di Pastena, Terracina onto the ‘Via dei Monti Lepini’ (SS156).

Driver’s tip: You will see the Lepini Mountains rise up in front of you and the road is reasonably wide and well surfaced, although watch out for cars in your lane as Italians do love to overtake when they see a nice stretch of straight road!

  • Stay on the ‘Via Monti Lepini’, following signs for Latina and Sezze.

Driver’s tip: After about 20 km, you will see a sign on your left for ‘Onorati’ bar and pizzeria. This is a convenient place for quick toilet stop.

  • When the road splits in two, stick on the left-hand side towards Latina and don’t take the turn off towards Priverno / Maenza / Roccagorga / Carpineto Romano.
  • Continue on the SS156 for 9.5 km.  When the road starts to go steeply down hill, you will see a sign for a right-hand turn towards ‘Pontinaia’ on the right. You will go under 2 bridges.
  • Follow the road to the right and take the ramp off to the right.
  • At the roundabout take the first exit to the right onto the SS156 and after 350 meters you will need to take a right-hand turn onto the Via Migliara 47, signed posted for Frosinone, Sabaudia, Pontinaia, and the Appia. Continue straight through the next roundabout. After 5 km’s, turn right into ‘Via del Murillo’.
  • After 1.5 km you will reach Via Migliara 46 sinistra, where you turn right and continue until you see the sign for ‘Roana’ on your left-hand side.
  • You have to go over a little bridge and then follow the road into the farm.

2. Stop #1: Roana – The Buffalo Mozzarella specialists

  • As you drive into the Roana Farm & Dairy, you’ll see a real Buffalo farm at work. The Roana farm is one of this journey’s main attractions, where you can arrange to have the owners of the farm will take you around to meet their ‘mandria’ or herd and explain how Buffalo mozzarella is made and how they look after their Buffalos. Their farm shop is always open for tastings for those who just want to pop in unannounced. Find out all about what awaits you at the Roana Farm & Dairy by reading their profile here (link).

3. Getting from Roana to La Lupa: Zig-zagging in the valley (15 mins)

  • Turn right on leaving Roana farm and dairy onto the Via Migliara 46 Sx and drive for 2 km until the cross roads with the ‘Via Appia’ (SS7).
  • Turn left and drive for 7.4 km.
  • Take the third left onto Via Migliara 51 and you will find the Caseificio La Lupa on your right after less than 1 km.

4. Stop #2: La Lupa – Fiordilatte Mozzarella

Now it’s time to compare the succulent and quite meaty Buffalo mozzarella with its lighter and more tart cousin Fiordilatte Mozzarella. You can find out more about what awaits you at La Lupa by reading their profile here (link). Their specialty is Fiordilatte and they have a fascinating story to tell with a range of cheeses and cured meats to try.

4. Lunch Suggestions:

After having seen how the Agro Pontino’s two Mozzarella’s are made and learnt to tell the difference between them, you’ll ready to sit down and enjoy a slap up meal. Here are two suggestions in the area where you can taste good local fare:  

Option 1.
Alan Farm – Buffalo Steak

What does it serve? Alan Farm is another renowned Buffalo mozzarella joint. However, what gives this place a twist is the chance to taste a Buffalo steak in the dairy‘s very own steak joint, which is an important derivative of Mozzarella and a very ‘healthy’ red meat.

How do I get there? Alan Farm is located just a few hundred meters up the road from La Lupa towards the Via Appia

Option 2.
Agriturismo L’Ovile

What does it serve? After tastings galore, the L’Ovile offers a comfortable place to tuck into their abundant starter with a taste of 3 local cheeses; ricotta, mature pecorino and a buffalo mozzarella produced onsite, as well as the homemade pasta and lentil dishes – all washed down with a glass or two of local wine.

How do I get there? Return back along Via Migliara 47 towards the Via Appia. Turn turn left when you get to the cross roads and continue along the Via Appia for approx. 16 km until you turn left towards Latina onto the SS156. After passing ‘D’Onofrio Mobili’ on your right, Agriturismo L’Ovile is on your right-hand side.

5. Digestion Suggestions and Finding your Way Back to Rome

To return back to Rome, either head up the Appia following signs for Rome, or head back towards Via Migliara 47 and at Sezze follow signs for Frosinone and get back onto the motorway. Instead of rushing back to Rome after lunch, though, we’d suggest exploring the surrounding area, which offers a number of ancient Roman cities, Mediaeval abbeys, hilltop towns, and Renaissance castles that are well worth visiting:

  • Abbey of Fossanova (near Priverno)
  • Roman city of Privernum
  • Sermoneta
  • The Gardens of Ninfa
  • National Park of Circeo
  • Abbey of Valvisciolo abbey
  • Roman city of Norba

 

Foodie tip: As you drive back home on SS156, you will pass by the blue sign for Onorati Raccolta Latte e Caseficio. The dairy is a handy stop-off on your way back home to pick up some Mozzarella if you’re afraid if it getting too hot in the car during your trip. The shop also sells other products, such as conserves, which make good gifts, and a range of harder provalone and caciocavallo cheeses.