Cucina Forte opened its doors in February of 2000. Maria has been in the restaurant industry since 1965. Her family still owns and operates Alla Letizia Ristorante located in Abbruzzi Italy. The restaurante was founded by her parents Giuseppe and Letizia in 1965 as a local eatery for fishermen. It quickly grew into one of Abbruzzi's treasured gems. Since the restaurant was seasonal, Maria would return to Italy every summer in the 70's and 80's to work side by side with her family. In 1989, Maria and her husband Tony opened Alla Letizia Restaurant formerly located on East Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. Maria continues the tradition her family started almost 50 years ago. All the pastas including the bread is made daily.