Oct 042019
 

Dear Hungry Readers,

Because many of you have asked, here’s the itinerary for our new 2020 7-day culinary sailing tour in collaboration with Venetian host Mauro Stoppa. This will be a cultural and culinary exploration of the Venetian lagoon and the Brenta Riviera. Boats and traditional means of transport make for a unique journey in one of Italy’s most historically, culturally and gastronomically rich regions. This is a variation of our original tour of Venice and the lagoon islands (that will be offered once again, September 14-20—itinerary to come).

With guests at the fabled Venetian restaurant Le Antiche Carampane. From left to right, standing: Jennifer Johnston, Christine Sims, Frank Sims, Mauro Stoppa with dog Olivia, Jeanette Holcomb, Eileen Lloyd, Richard Lloyd; kneeling: Connie Huber Stoy, Julia della Croce.

OVERVIEW

The spring 2020 journey begins onboard the Eolo, the restored historic sailing vessel owned by our host. We’ll take off from the lagoon islands and sail the tranquil waters westward into the bucolic Brenta canal and the Renaissance world of one of history’s greatest architects, Andrea Palladio. The last two days conclude with a return to Venice to explore its lesser known neighborhoods and sites. Once on the Veneto mainland, our crew will transfer us onto smaller traditional boats built to navigate the narrow, shallow canals of the ancient Venetian waterways just as the Venetians once did. Along the way, we’ll explore everything from the magnificent villas of the 16th, 17th, and 18th century merchant classes to the ancient cities and villages of art and culture along the Brenta, the natural extension of the Grand Canal. We’ll relive the extraordinary experience of noble families leaving Venice to spend summers in the countryside during the Serenissima’s gilded age, and also discover the world of ordinary Venetians. An extraordinary exploration of Venice and its region not offered anywhere else, our past guests have said that traveling with us on the Eolo was the experience of a lifetime. We think you’ll agree.

For lunch, our captain, host, and galley cook, Mauro Stoppa, serves freshly caught roasted sea bass encased in an aromatic bread crust. Photo: Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

SPRING TOUR 18-24, 2020

Culinary and Cultural Tour of Venice, its Lagoon, and the Brenta Riviera

Experience Veneto of the ancient Venetians with National Geographic author Julia della Croce partnering with Venetian host, captain Mauro Stoppa

  • Sail lost Venice and its lagoon islands for immersion in the private world unknown to most outsiders, that of the native islanders—fishermen, artisans, tradesmen, sailors, farmers, and vintners.
  • Travel through a unique ecosystem of small canals, shallow waters and sandbanks to the channel flowing into the Brenta Riviera and be immersed in an extraordinary and unspoiled natural world along the way, stopping to visit fishermen’s huts or ancient monasteries, visiting the most important Palladian villas, dining at the table of a Venetian countess in her palace, tasting the authentic cuisine of common people and noble Venetians alike.
  • Be guided by the locals who take pride in the rituals of their traditional life and will welcome you into their worlds and share the details of how they live and work. 
  • Journey the breathtaking Brenta Riviera and see its famous villas, gardens, and artistic treasures executed by masters including Giotto, Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo, Donatello,Veronese, and Tintoretto.
  • With our local guide, tour Padova (Padua in English), the crown jewel of the region’s splendid Medieval and Renaissance cities.
  • End your journey in Venice itself for an overnight in a newly renovated, palatial apartment complete with kitchenette overlooking a lazy canal in the charming San Polo district where you can sightsee with our Venetian guide, shop, or, if you like, just ramble the backstreets of Venice beyond the city’s most famous sights on your own.

Guests helping out in the galley. Photo copyright Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

Day 1 (Includes dinner and overnight)

MEET IN VENICE

—Group meets Julia at a hotel in Venice within easy reach by public transportation (vaporetto) from Marco Polo airport. Precise location to be anounced. Check in at 3 p.m.

—Group dinner near our hotel, 7 p.m.

—Overnight here. 

 

Day 2 (Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight)

CROSS THE LAGOON, STOP AT SAN LAZZARO DEGLI ARMENI ISLAND; HEAD FOR THE MAINLAND; TRAVERSE THE CANAL BY TRADITIONAL BOATS CALLED CAORLINE, DINNER AT A PRIVATE VILLA VILLA

—Morning: Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer by water taxi to the Eolo. The crew will make you feel at home on deck, serving fresh local fruit, snacks and coffee prepared in the galley.

San Lazzaro c. 1877, by Charles Yriarts (1832-1848)

—Sail to the tiny monastery island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni. Like many of the lagoon islands, it has been used in various ways over the centuries. A quarantine site for ships and their passengers before they were permitted to disembark in Venice during the years of the Black Plague, it eventually became a monastery for Armenian monks in the 18th century and a place of study and eventually, a publishing center and important library that is still in use.  https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Lazzaro_degli_Armeni

—Disembark and meet our local guide for a tour of the abbey and the island while Mauro and the crew prepare a delicious lunch in the galley of genuine Venetian dishes sourced from local ingredients.

—Lunch al fresco, in the open air, on deck. Superb local wines served with every course.

—Shove off from the lagoon for the Brenta Riviera, gliding the gentle curves of the canals on the Eolo until we pass the last lock. At this point, guests will transfer to a convoy of smaller vessels called caorline, traditional Venetian row boats designed to navigate the narrow and shallow waterways manned by their prideful owners who, if you ask them, have plenty of tales to tell about their beloved river. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caorlina

Boatmen rowing their caorline, traditional Venetian crafts on the Brenta canal. Photo credit: Mauro Stoppa

—Disembark at the spectacular Villa Foscari, better known as “La Malcontenta.” Mirrored in the waters of the Brenta, it is considered the most fascinating of the numerous 16th century country palaces designed by the legendary architect Andrea Palladio for wealthy Venetian merchants. Guided tour of the estate. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Foscari

Villa Foscari, courtesy UNESCO.

—Re-board the caorline for an opulent riverside relais et chateaux, the 17th century Palladian villa Franceschi, former residence of the Doge’s jewelers. It comes into view in all its splendor at a bend in the canal, skirted by acres of forested parkland. According to tradition, all the villa’s balconies and terraces from which we will eat superb Venetian cuisine “al fresco,” in the open, should face the breathtaking panorama.  http://www.villafranceschi.com/en/ https:// and  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Pisani,_Stra

—Dinner at Villa Franceschi prepared by Mauro Stoppa and the Eolo’s crew.

—Overnight at Villa Franceschi. 

 

Day 3 (Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight)

VENETIAN VILLAS, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES, A RESTORED ANCIENT GRANARY, A BEAUTIFUL FISHERY, DINNER AND OVERNIGHT AT VILLA FRANCESCHI.

—Transfer by van to Villa Pisani at Strà on the Brenta Riviera that links Venice to Padua. The most famous of Veneto’s villas, Villa Pisani, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, is considered the most spectacular for its classical grandeur and allegorical frescoes by Giambattista and Domenico Tieplo and other Renaissance masters. Guided visit of the villa and its gardens. http://www.villapisani.beniculturali.it

Villa Pisani, view from the reflecting pond. Photo credit: Rafaela Pagani, 2014

—Embark on the caorline for the Molini di Dolo, perfectly restored ancient mills for grinding corn and grains that were the staples of the Venetians.  http://www.rivieradelbrenta.biz/ristoranti_riviera_del_brenta/i_mulini_del_dolo.htm

—Lunch at a typical restaurant near the mills at Villa Goetzen.

—Board the caorline again for the dramatic 17th century Villa Valmarana. http://www.villavalmarana.net/

—Return to Villa Franceschi by caorline, or on foot along the breathtaking paths on the properties, if you prefer. 

—Once again, dinner will be prepared by Mauro Stoppa and his crew at the villa.

 

Day 4 (Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight)

PADOVA EXCURSION AND A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE, DINNER AT THE PRIVATE VILLA OF COUNTESS EMO

—Transfer by van to Padova/Padua, a dazzling tapestry of medieval marketplaces, Renaissance architecture, and early 20th century facades. Home to the second oldest university in Italy where Galileo taught and patrons of the powerful Scrovegni family sponsored Giotto’s famous works.

—Guided visit of Giotto’s Cappella degli Scrovegni, Scrovegni Chapel, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, an extraordinary example of 15th century art and the most comprehensive collection of preserved frescoes painted by Giotto (1303-1305).

Kiss of Judas, one of the panels in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padova, by Giotto di Bondone, 1304-1306. Courtesy: Cappella degli Scrovegni

—Lunch in a typical restaurant in the historic center of Padova/Padua.

—Visit Palazzo della Ragione and the Prato della Valle piazza. Built between 1218 and 1308, the Palazzo was the government center of Padua. The interior is designed to simulate an upside down wooden boat, symbolizing the intimate relationship between the city and its waterways. The nearby Prato della Valle piazza is considered one of Europe’s most significant.

—Transfer by van to the villa residence of Countess Emo in Monselice nestled in the Euganean Hills for a dinner prepared by Mauro Stoppa and the Eolo crew. Overnight in the villa.

 

Day 5 (Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight)

UNIQUE BAROQUE GARDENS, VISIT TO THE EUGANEAN HILLS, TRANSFER TO VENICE  

—Transfer by van to the nearby gardens at Valzanzibio, designated by UNESCO as the first Italian baroque garden, known for its allegorical themes and unique botanical labyrinths. https://www.valsanzibiogiardino.it

—Lunch at a restaurant in the charming medieval village of Arquà Petrarca, home to the last house of the fourteenth century poet, Petrarch and considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. www.arquapetrarca.com

Arquà Petrarca. Photo credit: Alain Rouiller, Wikicommons

—Guided visit of the Cataio castle. http://www.castellodelcatajo.it/

—Transfer to Venice by van and water taxi.

—Arrive in Venice in time to settle in before dinner. Overnight in spacious apartments in the newly renovated Palazzo Morosini degli Spezieri overlooking a lazy canal in the charming San Polo district.

Our accommodations in Venice: newly renovated, spacious apartments complete with kitchenettes. Photo: Compliments of Palazzo Morosini degli Spezieri

Day 6 (Includes lunch, dinner, and overnight)

VENICE AND FAREWELL DINNER

Passing gondoliers as we re-enter Venice, San Giorgio in the background. Photo copyright Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

—Guided visit to Venice’s artisan rowers guild (forcole). Onto seeing an example of the ancient printing press system (Venice was once an important publishing center). Those who would prefer a free day in Venice are permitted to explore the city on their own.

—Lunch in a typical bacaro, eatery specializing in small plates.

—Free afternoon.

—Farewell  dinner at the legendary and colorful restaurant Antiche Carampane near the Rialto bridge, once a government-designated retirement home for ladies of the night that inhabited the neighborhood.

 

Day 7 (Includes hotel breakfast)

FINAL DAY

—Depart Venice, or extend your stay at the palazzo if you wish, and we will arrange for your reservations at your own cost.

Arrivederci, Venezia, a presto—see you again soon. From left to right: Joan Gussow, Michael Thun, Lynne Moody. Photo copyright Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

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.

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 info@cruisingvenice.com or email me with any questions you might have.

 

 

Mar 112019
 

On September 12, 2019, Venetian host and Captain Mauro Stoppa of the vessel, Eolo, and I will shove off for a singular culinary and cultural tour of Venice and its lesser known islands. She is one of the few remaining purpose-built, flat-bottom boats left that were designed during the time of the doges to navigate this fabled city of 100 islands and 150 canals. Here is our itinerary, offering our guests an intimate experience for cruising by day, and first-rate accommodations in historic inns and hotels at night. We invite you to come on board for three days of island hopping, followed by three days of immersion in Venice proper. You will see how John Ruskin, upon seeing Venice could write,

I have never entered it with such wonder, nor left it with such regret. 

Read more about us heresee a new video about our tour, or go directly to the Eolo’s website for more information and press endorsements from prominent food and travel publications including The Herald Tribune (The New York Times), Saveur, Conde Nast Traveler, and the Financial Times.

Reserve by June 30.  Terms & Conditions below.

Mauro Stoppa, skipper and chef, on board his beloved Eolo. Photo: Photo: Paolo Destefanis for Veneto: Authentic Recipes From Venice and the Italian Northeast, by Julia della Croce (Chronicle Books)

Host Mauro Stoppa on board his beloved Eolo. | Credit: Paolo Destefanis for Veneto: Authentic Recipes From Venice and the Italian Northeast, by Julia della Croce

CRUISING VENICE, SEPTEMBER 12-18, 2019

…it’s hard to blame people for getting excited when they eat risotto with sea asparagus—the Venetian “salicornia”— or grouper cooked in peaches with a Byzantine basilica as a backdrop.  —Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times

  • See the glittering city on the sea only as natives can while sailing aboard the historic and beautifully restored Eolo, a flat-bottom “bragozzo” whose design goes back to the time of the Doges and is the only one of its size still navagating.
  • Experience the magic of the lagoon, its history and culture; natural life, music, and rich local traditions.
  • Explore the bucolic, lesser known islands by boat and on foot with our native guide.
  • Visit lace, glass, fabric, and food artisans who have been practicing their arts for generations.
  • Eat the genuine local cuisine while under sail and dine in the best restaurants of Venice.
  • Sleep in the islands’ charming inns and historic hotels.
  • Finish with a sojourn in Venice for 3 luxurious days in a magnificent private palace and immersion in the art, history, and culture of this spectacular city.
Experience the magic of the lagoon, its history and culture; natural life, music, and rich local traditions.

Experience the magic of the lagoon, its history, natural life, and rich local traditions. |Credit: http://www.cruisingvenice.com

Day 1

Mazzorbo and Burano

Locanda Venissa, Mazzorbo. Photo: Paolo Spigariol

The island of Mazzorbo and our lodgings, Locanda Venissa. | Credit: Paolo Spigariol

  • We will meet you upon your arrival at Venice Airport and take you by water taxi to the Venissa, a manor house-hotel and wine estate on its own bucolic island, Mazzorbo, top-rated by The New York Times, Michelin, and Travel + Leisure. The tiny, peaceful island, once an important trading center, is known today for its colorful houses, vineyards, and orchards. Settle in and eat a light lunch. After a rest, go for a guided walking tour to the nearby island of Burano, renowned for its lace making. You will have time to visit the artisans, do some shopping, or just stroll the ancient streets lined with colorful houses.
  • Return to Mazzorbo for a rest and dinner at the Venissa’s acclaimed inn and restaurant.

Venissa portico. | Credit: Paolo Spigariol

Day 2

Torcello and the northern Lagoon

The Eolo under full sail approach the fabled island of Torcello. | Photo: Paolo Spigariol

  • Breakfast at the Venissa, then board the Eolo and set sail for Torcello and the northern waters of the lagoon. The original site of Venice and famous haunt of Hemingway, the island has a rich and fascinating history. Visit its impressive Byzantine Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, built in 639 A.D., and the 11 th century octagonal church of Santa Fosca. Climb the bell tower for a bird’s eye view of the lagoon, and wander the island’s tranquil paths.
  • Board the Eolo again and set sail for a quiet canal in a nearby saltmarsh richly populated with birdlife and carpeted with colorful native flora. Anchor. Lunch on the chef’s freshly cooked specialties based on splendid produce and seafood of the lagoon.
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Flamingoes in an estuary of the lagoon.| Credit: http://www.cruisingvenice.com

  • Set sail for the pristine northern lagoon where thousands of flamingoes can be seen flying over the saltmarsh to join other wild fowl that inhabit the islands nearby.
  • Sail to the Locanda alle Porte 1632 at sunset for dinner and an overnight stay. Constructed in 1632 between the lagoon and the Sile River, the building, once the customs house, controlled the entrance into the Grand Canal. There, Venetian officials collected taxes from both residents and foreigners doing business in Venice. Today it is an inn and a restaurant. Sunset dinner and overnight stay.
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Inside the Locanda alle Porte 1632. |Credit: http://www.cruisingvenice.com

Day 3

Lazzaretto Nuovo and Malamocco

Venetian mask representing the doctor of the plague.

Venetian carnival mask originating from the quarantine representing the doctor of the black plague. Vinegar-soaked cloth was wrapped on the face and covered with the long-nosed mask to avoid the infection.|Credit: http://www.cruisingvenice.com

  • Breakfast at the Locanda alle Porte 1632.
  • Board the Eolo. After local fishermen deliver their early morning catch to our boat, we set sail. Mauro and Julia will prepare lunch from what the lagoon has offered this morning.
Mauro teaches how to stuff zucchini blossoms on board the Eolo. Photo: Paolo Spigariol

Mauro shows how to stuff zucchini blossoms on-board the Eolo. | Credit: Paolo Spigariol

  • Drop anchor near the island of Lazzaretto Nuovo, which once serve as a quarantine facility. Venice appears in the distance. Lunch on board.
  • Disembark on the island and find remarkable evidence of inhabitants who lived here well before the Romans. During the Middle Ages it was used solely as a place to quarantine goods and sailors for a period of time before they could enter Venice as a precaution against the spread of disease. Talk to local mask makers to learn about the origins of their craft. This is where the Venetian mask originated, elaborate cloth cover-ups soaked with vinegar to ward off disease. Today, the island is a beautiful and and peaceful respite.
  • Board the Eolo again and set sail for the ancient village of Malamocco. Dinner and overnight accommodations in a beautiful 14th entry villa, Ca’ del Borgo.

The Eolo under sail in the lagoon. |Credit:

Day 4

Chioggia and Venice

  • Breakfast at Ca’ del Borgo.
  • Set sail for Chioggia and take a guided tour of the old port, considered a “little Venice.” See the vibrant fish market, where Mauro will buy the ingredients for our lunch. Stop at the grain store, dating to 1322, one of the most important historic buildings on the island. Visit the island’s Duomo with its masterpieces by Tiepolo, Carpaccio, and Tintoretto.

Fishmonger, Chioggia. | Photo: Julia della Croce

  • Leave Chioggia for Valle Zappa, a remote island that was once a private hunting and fishing area where you will find a unique example of  “mirror architecture.”
  • Lunch under sail. The bell towers of San Marco, which once guided ships into the port of entry, will appear in the distance.
  • Disembark in Venice. Transfer by water taxi to Palazzo Morosini degli Spezieri, 5-star, newly renovated private apartments in a magnificent 17th century palace overlooking a quiet canal.  Spend 3 nights in your own apartment with a kitchen, private living room and bathroom.
  • Dinner on your own. Recommendations for Venice’s most authentic and famous restaurants are for the asking.

Our accommodations in Venice in the newly renovated Palazzo degli Morosini Spezeri are spacious apartments overlooking a quiet canal. Photo: Compliments of Palazzo Morosini degli Spezieri

Day 5

Venice

On our walking tour of Venice. | Photo: Julia della Croce/Forktales

On our walking tour of Venice. | Credit: Julia della Croce/Forktales

  • Follow your guide through the famous Mercato di Rialto with its beautiful vegetable and fruit stalls and colorful fishmongers. The famous market was once the trade and financial center of Venice. Wander your way through an intricate maze of narrow alleys, bridges and canals to Bevilacqua Textiles. Established by Luigi Bevilacqua c. 1499, it continues the city’s ancient tradition of weaving velvets, brocades and damasks by hand.
  • Lunch in an acclaimed vegetarian restaurant nearby.
  • Conclude your day with immersion in the city’s culture, including a stop at the imposing Gothic Frari church with its precious treasures, including The Assumption, the first public commission for a young Titian who would become the most important artist working in Venice. Also see the exquisite Madonnas by Giovanni Bellini and Paolo Veneziano, and Titian’s burial monument.
  • Dinner on your own. Recommendations for Venice’s most authentic and famous restaurants are for the asking.

Day 6

Venice

Piazza San Marco. | Photo: Greg Mitchell

Piazza San Marco. | Credit: Greg Mitchell

  • Go with our guide to St. Mark’s Square, once the political and social nerve center of Venice’s wealth and power. See the city’s most iconic buildings and learn about their origins and history. Start off the visit at the Doge’s Palace with its perfectly preserved magnificent facade and interior. Adjacent is the opulent St. Mark’s Basilica. With its nearly 90,000 square feet of gold mosaics and precious oriental marbles, it is considered one of the best examples of Italian-Byzantine architecture.
  • Lunch in a bacaro, a typical wine bar that serves “cichetti,” Venice’s answer to tapas.
  • Free afternoon for exploring or shopping.
  • Farewell dinner at the palace for a last taste of authentic Venice.

Day 7

Depart Venice

Farewell and thank you from the Eolo. | Credit: Paolo Destefanis

  • Airport transfer by water taxi.

Rates and Particulars:

  • 4,950 Euros per person including accommodations as detailed, breakfasts, lunches and dinners as described, private visits as per itinerary, all entrance fees, cooking class on board the Eolo, 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, 12 guests.
  • For those wishing to extend their stay in Venice, ask us to arrange for extension of accommodations at Palazzo Morosini degli Spezieri upon availability and at your own cost.

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 (March 11, 2019).
  • Please note that if circumstances beyond our control necessitates some alteration to the itinerary shown, you will be notified of any such changes as soon as possible. 
  • To be sustainable, a minimum of 6 guests is required; maximum 12 guests.
  • Payment terms: 10% to confirm your reservation; 40% when 6 reservations are booked; balance due 30 days before departure.

Contact

  • For more complete information, visit our earlier Forktales post.
  • Questions? Email julia@juliadellacroce.com
  • To book, please email info@cruisingvenice.com
Winner of the 2004 World Gourmand Awards.

Julia della Croce’s Veneto: Authentic recipes from Venice and the Italian Northeast, with photography by Paolo Destefanis (Chronicle Books) won the 2004 World Gourmand Awards.

“Everyone knows Venice, but the Venetian cuisine has been somewhat of a hidden treasure. Rich in the use of unique spices left from its Serenissa years, the cuisine sparkles with surprise. Julia della Croce [in her book, Veneto]…has captured wonderfully [its] nuances and sparkle of this regional cuisine.” —Lidia Bastianich

Julia della Croce has been immersed since birth in the tastes and aromas of the Italian cooking she loves. After becoming disenchanted with a political career, she began cooking in the galley of a 50-foot sailing ketch for paying passengers. She is a journalist, and James Beard award-winning cook book author and cooking teacher. Among her fourteen titles is Veneto: Authentic Recipes from Venice and the Italian Northeast (Chronicle Books), winner of the 2004 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She writes about the culture of food and drink in this blog, and most recently for National Geographic’s atlas of Italian food, Tasting Italy. She is a noted authority on the food of Italy.

Mauro Stoppa was born and raised on his family’s farm in a small village near Padua on the southern edge of the Venetian archipelago. He is an agronomist by education but his first love was always the world of the lagoon. In 1998, he pulled up his land roots and bought and restored the Eolo, a vintage bragozzo named after the Greek god of the wind, a flat-bottomed 52-foot fishing barge that is one of the last of its kind. There and then, he decided to fulfill his lifetime dream of living on the sea and to devote himself to the restoration of the Venetian waterways. Stoppa takes small groups on cruises to sail, eat his sublime food, and experience the magic of Venice and the lagoon he loves, a venture featured in the New York Times.

with Mauro at Met

Mauro lands in NYC to cook for a private party at Sotheby’s, bringing his own ingredients with him from Venice. We met at the Met for some down time. | Credit: Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

Jan 112019
 
January 30 Deadline to Sign Up for Spring Sailing Tour of Venice & the Brenta Riviera

What: Slow food and slow travel in Veneto, Italy Where: Culinary & cultural tour of Venice and its lagoon islands, and the Brenta Riviera When: April 29-May 5, 2019—6 days, 7 nights. Price: Euros 5,800. Price covers meals, overnight accommodations in first-rate inns and hotels, guides, cooking lessons and museum fees. Hosts: Best-selling National Geographic author Julia della Croce and architect-photographer Nat Hoyt partnering with Venetian host, captain Mauro Stoppa. Deadline for signing up: January 30, 2019 Reservations: info@cruisingvenice.com Questions?: Contact julia@juliadellacroce.com SPRING TOUR April 29-May 5, 2019 Itinerary We have 4-8 spots left on our historic sailing vessel that will […more…]

Sep 072018
 
Announcing: Our Exciting New Tour of Venice and the Brenta Riviera, April 29-May 5, 2019

Dear Hungry Readers, Here’s the itinerary for our new 2019 7-day collaboration with Venetian host Mauro Stoppa. This will be a cultural and culinary tour of the Venetian lagoon and the Brenta Riviera. Boats and traditional means of transport make for a unique journey in one of Italy’s most historically, culturally and gastronomically rich regions. This is a variation of our original tour of Venice and the lagoon islands (that will be offered once again, September 12-18—itinerary to come). The spring 2019 journey begins onboard the Eolo, the restored historic sailing vessel owned by our host. We’ll take off from the lagoon islands and sail […more…]

May 282018
 
Sail Venice and its Lagoon This Fall

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 […more…]

May 092018
 
What's Happening in Venice...

Forget churches—try the lagoon with a view.  A trip on the Eolo reveals a side of [Venice] few tourists ever see. . . . It’s a fascinating exploration of local history and folklore, gourmet cooking lessons in the galley and romantic meals on deck. —Rachel Spencer, Financial Times While we make plans to launch our 2018 harvest tours of the Venetian lagoon, host Mauro Stoppa has been busy getting the Eolo ready for the sail. Anyone who has hung around marinas knows that that means having your boat in dry-dock for barnacle scraping, repair and maintenance after the previous sailing season’s wear and tear. In our […more…]

Dec 232017
 
Holiday Greetings from Julia & Mauro

Dear Hungry Readers and Lovely Eolo Guests, If you’ve wondered why you haven’t heard from me recently, I’ve been immersed in a big book project this year (stay tuned for senstional images from all over Italy). In the meantime, my sailing tours of Venice and its exquisite lagoon, done in tandem with Venetian host Mauro Stoppa on his historic sailboat, continued in spring and autumn. Here’s a photo taken on deck in September as we glided past one of the hundreds of islands enclosed in this little sea, so pristine and still—a side of La Serenissima that so few people, natives and visitors alike, ever see. Additional posts […more…]

Aug 292017
 
Lost Venice is Best Seen By Boat: A Diary in Pictures

If you imagine that Venice has become all about cruise ships, crowds, and tourist traps, you’ve never seen the real Venice I know. It is the Venice behind the spectacle. I can take you there, on a 7-day, 6-night culinary-sailing tour with no more than ten guests. Together with Venetian native Mauro Stoppa, long-time friend and owner of the Eolo, a restored historic fishing boat, I’ll show you Venice in a respectful way—the unfrequented islands, the natural life on the silent lagoon, the nooks and crannies of native dwellers. And along the way, you’ll feast on the bounty of the lagoon, its fish and […more…]

Jul 162017
 
Christie's Loves Our Sailing and Culinary Tour of Venice—Still Openings in September!

Christie’s came on board just a few days after our recent May sailing and culinary tour of Venice and its lagoon and did this story on our salty host and his historic boat. We have a few spots left on our upcoming September 16-22, 2017 cruise. And plenty of room in June 2-8 and September 15-21, 2018 (maximum, 10 people). Here’s the Christie’s story—apologies for the fuzzy images, but I think you’ll get the idea. Join us! Details here.

Feb 152017
 
Venice by Boat Culinary Tour: New 2017 & 2018 Dates

“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 […more…]