Nov 212019

The Venetian Lagoon, Photo by Nathan Hoyt/Forktales 2018

No doubt you have heard about the disastrous rains and resulting floods in Venice in recent weeks—the worst since the tragic flooding of 1966 that did so much damage to the city and its art and architectural treasures; to homes and shops and livelihoods. Those of you who have been on our culinary sailing cruises of the lagoon islands no doubt wonder how Mauro Stoppa, our Venetian captain and host and his beloved ship the Eolo, have fared. Because the boat was out of the water for seasonal repairs and maintenance when the violent storms hit again and again over several days, both are safe. Only his small dingy, used for trips to the Rialto market for food supplies, was destroyed.

The Eolo in dry-dock.

You can support our unique and extraordinary culinary sailing tour by joining us for a spring or autumn tour. Participate in a venture designed by our captain and host, a native Venetian who takes great pride in drawing you into the insider’s Venice. Be amazed by these fabled islands that rise out of the sea like a fairy vision. You will no doubt find, as so many of our guests have, that you will have an adventure of a lifetime. Ours are the only tours of their kind that go behind the spectacle that is Venice to explore its nooks, crannies, and backstreets. We take you to the enchanting smaller islands where the native Venetians still live and work far away from the hordes of visitors on the main island. We will expertly navigate the lagoon waters, gliding through the mesmerizing calm and beauty of this sea-within-a-sea while our crew serves you the delights that emerge from the galley based on genuine local cooking that our host learned from his Venetian mother (note that we can custom prepare vegetarian menus and accommodate guests with dietary restrictions).

Greeting Mauro. Photo: Nathan Hoyt/Forktales, 2017

Hundreds of years after the decline of its dominant sea power, Venice, which once controlled the trade routes to Persia, India, and China, survives on tourism, even while foreign cruise ships disturb the fragile ecosystem of their waters and the punishing forces of climate change ravage it. Experts say that just like Atlantis—a continent that sank into the sea many thousands of years ago—Venice will disappear within a hundred years. But Venetians have grit and determination and will rebuild, as they always have. They have already begun. Join us for what so many of our guests say is the trip of a lifetime.

Experience the magic of the lagoon, its history and culture; natural life, music, and rich local traditions.

Summary of our itineraries for the spring and fall, 2020 culinary and cultural tours of Venice & its region with author Julia della Croce & Venetian host and captain Mauro Stoppa

Acclaimed by the Herald Tribune, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Financial Times, Saveur, The Times (London), The Guardian, and many other prominent food and travel publications

May 18-24 6 days

Sail on our historic vessel for an unforgettable tour of Venice and its lagoon’s lesser-known islands. Journey on to the Brenta Riviera for a land tour of the Renaissance world of Andrea Palladio, one of history’s greatest architects. See Villa Foscari aka “Malconta,” Villa Pisani, and other UNESCO World Heritage sites. Dine with a countess in her ancestral palace. Visit the medieval charms, art riches, and famous markets of Padua. Enjoy superb local wines and the delicate cuisine of the provinces and be amazed at the cultural and gastronomic richness of the Veneto region. Euros 5,800.

September 14-20

Sail Venice and its lesser known islands for a unique insider’s tour of the fabled city and its enchanting lagoon. Our beautifully restored vessel is one of the few remaining purpose-built flat-bottom boats left that were designed during the time of the doges to navigate Venice’s 100 islands and 150 canals. Our generous host and his able crew will draw you into the Venice of yesterday. Lunch at anchor on the quiet lagoon, and enjoy 4 days of island-hopping followed by 3 days in Venice proper with expert native guides at your side. Euros 6,200 (double occupancy)

English spoken by our expert crew and local guides.

Rates and Particulars:

  • 6,200 Euros per person including the last night (7 nights) or 5,800 Euros for 6 nights for accommodations as detailed, breakfasts, lunches and dinners as described, private visits as per itinerary, all entrance fees, cooking lessons during our journey at your discretion, the service of your tour guide(s). Rates based on double occupancy; 20% more for single occupancy.
  • 10% deposit upon reservation, refunded if the minimum of 6 guests is not reached.
  • 40% upon confirmation, the balance 30 days before departure.
  • Minimum 6 guests. Maximum, 10 guests.

*Price covers meals, overnight accommodations in first-rate inns and hotels, guides, cooking lessons, and museum fees.

Not Included

  • Flights, travel insurance, items of personal expenditure (e.g. telephone calls, laundry etc.), discretionary gratuities to boatmen and guides, government levies or taxes introduced after publication of this program).
  • Please note that if circumstances beyond our control necessitate some alteration to the itinerary shown, you will be notified of any such changes as soon as possible.

Contact: For more information and reservations: Write to Mauro Stoppa at the following email address For more information about me, go to You can email me at with any questions you might have.

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