Feb 152017

The Eolo sailing past Torcello and the basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, a notable example of Venetian-Byzantine architecture. | Photo: Paolo Spigariol

“I want people to see the lagoon as I see it. So many people come to Venice and never really understand what is out here.” —Mauro Stoppa, host of the Eolo

As recommended by The New York Times, Saveur, Elle, The Herald Tribune, Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, The Guardian, Tatler, The Daily Meal, Marie Claire, Gente Viaggi, Meridiani, Yacht Digest, Gala, Côté Sud, and other prominent publications.

Join our remarkable culinary tour of the city built on water and its lagoon islands. Our May 2017 tour is fully booked, but we are now offering these new dates:

2017 September 16-22

2018 June 2-8 | September 15-21

In addition, we can schedule customized tours for charter groups of 8-10 people for family reunions, intimate wedding parties, company trips, or other private occasions.

Selected Testimonials

“For centuries, the community’s livelihood revolved around the Arsenale, the shipyard that laid the foundation for Venice’s power, and today many residents still work as fishermen or in shipyards. There is a real attachment to the lagoon and the water beyond it…. Mauro Stoppa moved here to live … on his 52-foot “bragozzo,” one of the last surviving barges of its type, in order, he says, ‘to pay homage to the lagoon.’” —Marbella Caracciolo Chia, The New York Times

“John Ruskin once described this watery city as a ‘ghost upon the sands of the sea, so weak—so quiet–so bereft of all but her loveliness.’…. [153 years] later, he would be more likely to compare this packed tourist magnet to a shopping mall during the sales season than to a shadowy mirage…. But Ruskin’s Venice still exists…. Sitting on a historic fishing boat on a recent July evening, with the sun setting over the island of Torcello and the sound of the gull cries splitting the silence of the seemingly endless lagoon, a visitor might even get a sense of what the Victorian thinker was going on about….” —Elisabetta Povoledo, International Herald Tribune

“…[it] is a splendid vision of Venice past in Venice present…. [on the] … broad beamed fishing vessel that was bought and lovingly restored by a stocky, warm-hearted Venetian named Mauro Stoppa, who takes visitors to parts of Venice other boats do not normally reach…. It is a well-appointed pleasure boat and a fine floating restaurant.” —Condé Nast Traveller

“Out of the tiny galley kitchen emerge plates of squid marinated in balsamic vinegar and arranged with architectural precision among red berries and grapes. Next, a risotto of clams, tender and crunchy in all the right places. The pièce de resistance is the sea bass, flesh falling off the bone, baked with mushrooms and herbs, the latter grown on board. Finally, a helium-light chocolate dessert whipped up by Luigi Biasietto, one of the most famous pastry chefs in the Veneto region…. Finding food this good in the city of Venice would be no mean feat. Even Mauro’s wines – including a Piccolit from Enrico Gatti – would not look out of place on a Michelin-starred menu. Yet even as we salivate, we are transfixed by our watery surroundings. There is a sense that we are glimpsing a private world.…most visitors get no further than the number 12 vaporetto that ferries tourists northwards to the “big three” islands: Murano, Burano and Torcello. Mauro’s trips encompass the latter – he puts his guests up in a private villa there – but he also moors alongside Le Vignole and Sant’Erasmo. These are the market gardens of Venice; rarely visited islands where stagnant canals wind through vegetable gardens. Here…you’ll find Venetians tending the artichokes, aubergines and tomatoes that you later see on the stalls around the Rialto market.” —Rachel Spence, The Guardian

“Morning sightseeing is interrupted with a glass of sparkling prosecco and delicious deep-fried castrauri, tiny local artichokes…. In the galley Mauro stirs a huge frying pan of creamy risotto with courgettes cooked together with their yellow flowers, while in the oven the main dish might be a giant scorfano fish, slowly roasting on a bed of thinly sliced potatoes, or tiny wild ducks bought the day before from hunters on the lagoon, and delicately stuffed with foie gras.” —Orient Express

“Forget churches—Try the lagoon with a view…. A trip on the Eolo reveals a side of the lagoon few tourists – or residents such as myself who don’t possess their own boat – ever see…. Lunch aboard the Eolo is a tour de force. …We start with mussels steamed with white wine and the purple artichokes (castraure) that are a springtime speciality of Sant’Erasmo. Next comes the Venetian classic, risi and bisi (risotto with peas). But it’s the main course, a two-kilo bream cooked to flaking perfection, that wins a round of applause.…Not merely a sailing trip but… a fascinating [exploration] of local history and folklore, gourmet cooking lesson[s] in the galley… and … romantic meal[s] on deck. —Rachel Spencer, Financial Times

“The emphasis is on seasonal tastes, the freshness of the raw materials, and the simplicity of the cooking.”Gourmet Traveller, U.K.

“The adventurer inside you will be thrilled to travel through the northern lagoon and cook the fresh morning catch, while the tourist inside you will be pleased to spend your last few days exploring the famous landmarks in Venice both guided and on your own…. When eating on the sailboat, you will be able to cook the local cuisines right along with your hosts as hands-on lessons using some of the freshest ingredients of local products brought to you daily from the islands. You will be involved in every aspect from preparing to cooking the meals with professional guidance from della Croce and Stoppa.” —Bianca Bahamondes, The Daily Meal

“The Eolo is an undiscovered marvel. Many Venetians we spoke to had never heard of her…. We embark on the sleepy island of Le Vignole, then cruise to the sparsely populated isle of Mazzorbo. Soon we are in another world, far out into the lagoon, egrets and ibis our only company. Mauro and his crew set about preparing a four-course dinner as the sun sets; we eat on deck, the stars as our roof…. the food is wonderful: mussels with chilli, chocolate and fagiolini; seabass steamed with peaches and basil; watermelon gazpacho with pistachios.” —Marcus Sedgewick, Tatler

For Details, Itinerary, Reservations Information, Price, click here

To View a Video of the Eolo Under Sail, click here

The Grand Canal as seen from Ca’ Franchetti. | Photo: Paolo Destefanis for Veneto: Authentic Recipes From Venice and the Italian Northeast, by Julia della Croce

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  5 Responses to “Venice by Boat Culinary Tour: New 2017 & 2018 Dates”

  1. I wanted to go on the May trip to Venice but I had to have out-patient back surgery. I’d love to go in September. When will the details of that trip be available? Also, I am going solo. Are there others like me that take your tours?

    • Hello Antonia, September is also a glorious time of year to be in Venice and on the lagoon islands. The itinerary will be similar, if different foods will be in season at that time of year–it will be harvest time! There are already two couples and one solo already signed up for the September 2017 trip.The maximum we can take is 10 on each tour, so there is still room. To reserve, you need to contact our Venetian host, Mauro Stoppa, directly. His email address: info@cruisingvenice.com Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.

    • Hi Antonia, just thought I’d let you know that another solo has just signed up for the September tour.

  2. Availability for September, 2018 your?

    • Yes, we are now taking reservations for the September 15-21 tour. The maximum number of guests we can take is 10. In addition, there is a crew of three, the skipper, our host and cook, and myself. If you’d like speak with me about details, we can arrange a time to chat. It is a remarkable tour!

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